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Panasonic Inks 3-D Movie Sponsorship Deal

8/23/2009 09:16:43 PM Eastern

Secaucus, N.J. - Executives with Panasonic Consumer Electronics revealed Friday that it has signed a sponsorship deal for famed director James Cameron's forthcoming sci-fi 3-D feature film "Avatar."

 Bob Perry
 Bob Perry, Panasonic Consumer Electronics North America executive VP.

Panasonic executives said they will use the sponsorship deal with 20th Century Fox to begin promoting awareness for new 3-D-ready plasma televisions and 3-D-enabled Blu-ray Disc players it plans to introduce in 2010.

Panasonic's approach to 3-D, which it is working with other companies to standardize, will enable playing 3-D stereoscopic video in full 1080p HD resolution. The technology presents two separate 1080p images, which the human eye perceives as a single 3-D image when viewed through special glasses. The glass are designed to block vision in one eye and then the other as the television displays rapidly alternating images, each with a slightly different angle, to create an illusion of depth.

Cameron's new film, which will be released in theaters on Dec. 18 in both 2-D and 3-D versions, features a combination of live action and animated special effects.

Bob Perry, Panasonic Consumer Electronics North America executive VP, said his company will join others in the industry in promoting and introducing 3-D HD equipment for the home.

Upon the introduction of equipment, he said he expects as many as 100 3-D HD titles on Blu-ray Disc to be available.

Meanwhile, Panasonic plans to begin spreading the word this fall by giving demonstrations across the U.S. and Europe using specially designed trailer vans showing "Avatar" trailers.

Perry said he could not yet estimate how much of a price premium the new home-based 3-D-enabled products will carry. However, he said the first products will likely be introduced as step-up items to 2-D only TVs and Blu-ray Disc players before the appeal spreads in several years to more mainstream audiences.

Perry said that while Panasonic will focus on delivering the capability to television based on plasma technology, he expects others to develop LCD-based products that will play the new content.

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