Panasonics 3D TVs sell out

Big question marks hang over the ability of 3DTV to catch on amongst the world’s tech consumers, but initial signs from the US are promising.

Panasonic’s debut 3D bundle – which included its 50” plasma 3DTV, a 3D Blu-ray player and one set of 3D glasses at a price of $2900/1890 – has reportedly already sold out in North America.

So excited is the electronics firm that senior overseas MD Hitoshi Otsuki stated: It’s a great opportunity to turn around our TV business.”

However, 3DTV is likely to face the same long-term struggle as HDTV: lack of content.

While Sky and Virgin both offer their TV customers a decent range of HD channels, free-to-air HD content is limited to the scant offerings available via Freesat – and even that has come in for criticism by many thanks to a perceived lack of image quality compared to its subscription-based rivals.

Games consoles and Blu-ray still form the backbone of the entertainment industry’s HD offerings. Whether consumers who in recent years dug deep to fund the purchase of an HDTV will be eager to do so once again to invest in home 3D is yet to be seen.

Tokyo’s Daiwa Securities Capital Markets analyst Kaz Miura is certainly sceptical, saying of Panasonic’s US performance: There are always people who want to buy high-end products. That’s probably what’s driving sales.”

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