New York - Continuing to throttle the hype engine behind the global launch this week of its 3D HD LED TVs,
packed Times Square like New Year's Eve to present the mega pop group the Black Eyed Peas and legendary "Avatar" director James Cameron for a brief celebration.
The Black Eyed Peas performed a handful of songs from their current The E.N.D. World Tour, after Cameron took the stage to announce that the showcase was being filmed in 3D using the same cameras that he used for "Avatar."
The stunt was a not-so-subtle publicity coup over Panasonic, which launched its first 3D Blu-ray plasma systems earlier in the day, and Sony, which has been showing its forthcoming 3D Bravia sets in Sony Style stores for the past couple of weeks and had loudly promoted its end-to-end 3D leadership role.
Panasonic helped to sponsor "Avatar" and had used the film's trailers in early promotions for 3D last fall. The Japanese TV maker also had "Avatar" producer Jon Landau speak at its 2010 CES press conference.
Sony has promoted the fact that "Avatar" was shot in 3D using Sony equipment.
During the Samsung event, Cameron told the crowd that he and Vince Pace, who designed the Sony-made cameras used to shoot "Avatar," were using the same cameras to shoot the Black Eyed Peas' performance.
Footage from that and the rest of the tour will be available in 3D exclusively for Samsung customers.
"Samsung has been such a visionary leader in getting to market first with these sets," Cameron told the crowd. "Here's one thing to remember. When you look back 10 years from now and everything you see is in 3D - your movies are in 3D, your sports and entertainment in the home are 3D â€” you can say, â€˜I was there in New York - the center of the civilized world â€” when the future began.' That's right here tonight. "
The 3D footage of the event that was shot by Cameron and Pace's production company Cameron/Pace was streamed live via Dipdive.com, the lifestyle engine for music, videos and movies.
Samsung said it used the Black Eyed Peas surprise Times Square performance to kick off worldwide Samsung 3D launch events and a global television advertising campaign.
"Last year Samsung created a new category in home entertainment by bringing LED TVs to the market, and now we are adding a new dimension to the category by adding 3D LED TVs," stated Boo-Keun Yoon, Samsung Electronics' visual display business unit president. "3D is more than just a groundbreaking technology â€” it's the future of television, and we are committed to bringing this total viewing experience to consumers everywhere with the best picture quality in 3D content possible."
During his performance, Black Eyed Peas front man Will.i.am confessed to leaking news of the surprise concert to fans, who rapidly spread the word via Twitter.
Samsung also helped tease the event by deploying B-Boy dancers throughout New York City Wednesday to "highlight the liberation of TV from 2D to 3D."
"We are excited to help launch the Samsung 3D LED TVs and give our BEP fans exclusive access to the performance not only via Dipdive.com, but through the 3D experience," said Will.i.am.
Samsung is now selling LED models in the 46- and 55-inch screen sizes. The company plans to have a total of 17 3D products this year, including LED LCD TVs in the 7000, 8000 and 9000 series; a CCFL LCD TV in the 750 series; and plasma displays in the 7000 and 8000 series.
Samsung also today revealed its 3D Cube, a mega-screen display composed of 36 55-inch LED 7000-series 3D LED TVs outside the Samsung Experience in New York City. This is one of several 3D Cubes created by the company to build awareness for FullHD 3D LED TV around the world.
The campaign will include a global TV commercial filmed by director Sam Brown that "translates the immersion of 3D on a 2D TV screen." The ads will begin running in late March on every continent except Antarctica.