Speaking at the launch of the revolutionary new HDC-SDT750 3D camcorder, European CEO Laurent Abadie said that the roll-out of 3D was exceeding Panasonic’s expectations.
He says Panasonic’s mission is ‘to think bigger – and do bigger!’
‘Demand for the VT20 50 inch plasma is far, far, far above our highest expectation,’ he says. ‘We introduced it in April this year, but demand has been three times higher than availability. Which was a pity, because in many stores the product was sold out. Our mission now is to revise our plan. I really believe that 3D is a strong augment for consumers today. After the shock of James Cameron’s Avatar, last December, 3D became a trigger for everything: for gaming, for movies, for broadcast stations. 3D is everywhere in the world, not just Europe, it’s a global revolution.’
More 3D coming
While Abadie concedes that Panasonic’s 3D range has been small, that will all change at the 2010 IFA Tech Expo. ‘You will see a lot of new products. Following the launch of our 65inch 3D plasma model, we will have a 46inch and 42inch models…a full range. We will also show at IFA a 153inch 4K2K 3D model.’ Abadie says that the giant screen is already commercially available, and offers me the chance to place an order. ‘The price is £400,000,’ he teases ‘and we already have orders. It’s incredible.’
All of the brand’s 2010 3D TVs look likely to remain Plasmas. While the company has made a significant investment in LCD, with a new facility at Himeje (‘it’s one of the biggest in the world.’), it maintains that plasma presents the best technical solution for Home 3D.
‘From the engineering side, we really believe that plasma is much better (than LCD). The way the images are managed and the lack of crosstalk. This is a big discussion internally, but our key people really feel that plasma for sure is the best technology. This is so visible with the 50inch. With 3D you have to be careful. If images have crosstalk you feel that there is something…wrong with the image, it can be tiring to watch even if it is not that visible.’
While Panasonic’s plasma panels have been universally lauded for their image quality, the same cannot be said for the first generation 3D spectacles. Eyeware is an area all of the manufacturer’s seem to be wrestling with – and they remain the most quoted consumer objection to 3D.
According to Abadie, it’s an area that Panasonic is keen to revisit.
‘We will introduce many new glasses in two or three months,’ he says. ‘A full range, with better quality, that are more comfortable – especially for people who already wear prescription glasses. They will be lighter, and come in different sizes. It depends on the size of your face…This is a big issue and we will bring a big response.’
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