3D coming around again, in your home

Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:24am EST
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By Franklin Paul

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Television makers are scrambling this year to lay the groundwork for 3-D TV, hoping viewers will be able to reach out and touch their movies as soon as 2010, when the global economy may begin to recover.

Now that flat-panel TVs -- once the belles of the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas -- have become de-rigueur in many homes around the globe, the world's top TV manufacturers are searching for the next big idea to spark consumer demand.

At this year's show, several displayed and discussed advances in three-dimensional, high-definition (HD) TV in the home, led by Panasonic, which says it is trying to have the framework of an industry-wide standard completed this year.

Their selling point: bringing the in-your-face, out-of-the-screen immediacy of 3-D pioneering movies such as "Jaws 3D" directly into the living room.

"Panasonic doesn't think that 3-D, full HD for the home is far away at all," said Yoshi Yamada, chairman and chief executive of Panasonic Corp of North America during his CES address on Wednesday. "We are discussing this now with other major manufacturers and Hollywood studios."

"But for 3-D, full HD systems to succeed, we know that there needs to be 3-D, full HD content," he said.

With this in mind, Panasonic is marshaling its forces.

The Japanese firm is talking with Oscar-winning director James Cameron -- who helmed the top-grossing "Titanic" -- on his upcoming 3-D film "Avatar."   Continued...

<p>A customer stands by a logo of the Panasonic brand at an electronic shop in Tokyo January 9, 2009. REUTERS/Issei Kato</p>