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TV setmakers team for 3D

Samsung, Panasonic, Sony pact for 3D standard

The top television manufacturers have joined forces to make 3D TV more attractive to consumers.

Panasonic, Samsung and Sony plan to collaborate with XpanD 3D to develop a new technology standard for active 3D glasses. The partnership, called the Full HD 3D Glasses Initiative, aims to eliminate the specialized glasses required for each manufacturer’s set.

Glasses using the new protocol are expected to be on the market by 2012 and will be compatible with 2011 active 3D TVs.

The manufacturers say they intend to achieve universal standardization that will include the IR (infrared) system protocols used by all four parties between the glasses and sets. Glasses made using the new protocol will give consumers greater freedom of movement, as they will use Bluetooth connectivity to communicate with sets.

“Through this alliance, we all look forward to addressing critical industry issues to enable a better consumer experience across products,” said Jun Yonemitsu, deputy senior general manager of Sony’s home entertainment development division. “We believe active 3D technology is the most suitable method to deliver full 1080p picture quality to each eye, giving consumers the 3D experience they most desire.”

The move comes as the fight between active 3D and passive 3D has grown fiercer. LG, one of the leading proponents of passive 3D, issued a controversial study in June concluding that 80% of consumers prefer passive glasses (which tend to be lighter and do not require their batteries to be changed) over active ones.

Sony, Samsung and Panasonic today pointed to a survey by the NPD Group that indicated a consumer preference for active 3D.

But both of those reports ignore other studies, such as a 2010 Nielsen study, which cite the need for any sort of glasses, along with the price of the TVs, as the top reasons why consumers are not buying 3D sets.

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