CULVER CITY, CALIF. — In a true Sony United presentation, the electronics manufacturer formally showcased its lens-to-living-room involvement in 3D TV, when it announced the presale of its first 3D Bravia TVs earlier this month.
The company said its 3D LCD TVs are now available for presale at Sony Style stores and that its integrated Bluray 3D devices will be at retail in July.
The presentation at Sony Pictures Studios here underscored the company’s involvement in 3D in virtually every segment of its operations.
Howard Stringer, Sony chairman, kicked off the ceremony by saying, “We at Sony are marshalling all of our consumer resources to deliver the next great consumer experience — 3D.”
Sony’s 3D lineup now includes 19 Bravia HDTVs, Blu-ray Disc players and home-theater systems.
Sony also released a free firmware update that activates Blu-ray 3D capability for previously announced Blu-ray Disc models, including the BDP-S470 and BDP-S570 players and the BDVE570 and BDV-E770W home-theater systems.
Sony said it will support the 3D launch with an integrated marketing segment that marks the second leg of its more than $100 million 2010 “make.believe” campaign. Planned TV ads will start airing during the World Cup and will feature NFL quarterback Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts, and Grammy and Emmy awardwinning artist Justin Timberlake, aiming to deliver consumer education and eliminate 3D confusion.
The ads will support Sony’s 3D Bravia line, including the 3D-integrated Bravia XBR-LX900 HDTV series, which features a built-in 3D sync transmitter and two pair of active-shutter glasses, and the 3D-ready Bravia XBR-HX909 and KDL-HX800 models, which offer the option of adding the 3D sync transmitter and glasses at an additional cost.
The line features screen sizes in 40, 46, 52, 55 and 60 inches and ranges in price from around $2,100 (KDL- 40HX800) to about $5,000 (XBR- 60LX900).
Sony said its Bravia 3D TVs will stand out from the competition due to a variety of technological approaches that deliver 3D and 2D images with superior color and contrast performance, and in 3D reduced cross-talk artifacts with a wider viewing radius for its active- shutter glasses systems through the use of an advanced IR emitter system.
In addition, Sony’s 3D LED LCD TVs use an Intelligent Dynamic LED backlight system, which allows detail to be seen clearly in dark areas.
Meanwhile, consumers who purchase and register one of the new 3D Bravia models will receive a copy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Blu-ray 3D title “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” as well as Blu-ray 3D title “Deep Sea.”
The sets will also include a PlayStation Network voucher enabling 3D Bravia purchasers to download stereoscopic 3D gaming experiences on the PlayStation3 system (sold separately).
Michael Fasulo, Sony’s chief marketing officers, said the company will conduct more than 5,500 educational 3D demonstrations on retail floors within two months, reaching more than 200,000 consumers. That is in addition to the 1.6 million demonstrations given on 3D in Sony Style stores since January.
By September, Sony will have placed more than 6,000 3D retail displays in the United States featuring all of the company’s 3D products and entertainment offerings, Faulo said.
On the programming end, Sony reminded that it is part of a joint venture with Discovery Communications and IMAX to produce a new 24-hour 3D TV channel to bring HD 3D content to 3D TV sets.
Tom Cosgrove, now Discovery Channel’s COO and executive VP, will direct the new venture.
Sony said the as-yet-unnamed 24- hour 3D channel will launch in January, carrying a mix of movies, documentaries and children’s programming.
Among the Sony PS3 games slated to appear in 3D this year are Kill Zone 3, Super Star Dust HD and Pain.