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3D Blur

WARNING TO 3D TV SUPPLIERS: The headline of this blog has nothing to do with the quality of the 3D TV demos I saw this week.
In a week when the Academy Awards didn’t get it right (from the CE point of view) and didn’t give its Best Picture award to “Avatar,” the snub was hardly a blip in the promotional blur of 3D TV week here in New York City.
Panasonic and Samsung held separate events here in here, press releases from suppliers who didn’t have events, but wanted to make sure their efforts were not ignored, and the tons of consumer media reports online, in print and broadcast — all talking about the industry’s newest “gizmo” — the activity around 3D TV became a blur.
The media went from the Samsung Experience at the Time Warner building at Columbus Circle on Tuesday, to Union Square at 14th Street for the Panasonic/Best Buy event the next morning, up to Times Square for the Samsung-sponsored Black Eyed Peas mini-concert recorded by “Avatar” director James Cameron in 3D, to an opening party that night back at the Samsung Experience. (It made one wonder what a CES in New York might be like in this multimedia era.)
DirecTV, Fox, ESPN, DreamWorks and a host of other networks and content providers also expanded on their initial commitments to back the format.
And P.S. – Panasonic is back in New York on Monday begins its tour of 15 major markets to promote 3D TV and the rest of its line.
Media outlets that hardly ever cover technology weighed in on 3D. Much of the consumer media were amazed by the technology but questioned the price tags and the lack of content, which sounded like its HDTV coverage in the early days. They questioned whether people would wear glasses to watch TV and their cost. And they wondered in a dreary economy if consumers, who just upgraded to HDTV last year, would pony up extra bucks for the new format.
If I were an executive with any 3D TV supplier or retailer I wouldn’t care what the media is saying now. I’d be happy if they keep reporting about it, and spell their company’s name correctly.
All the publicity and hype about 3D is great because it will drive consumers into stores for demonstrations, even if the format won’t take the TV business by storm in this calendar year.
3D TV will boost store traffic. To get a real demo of the technology, consumers are going to have to go to retail stores and, after the demo, if they don’t buy a new 3D TV, they might buy something else. You never know. And that’s good for everyone.