The 3D TV hype machinerolls on Tuesday as Samsung, the , officially announced pricing and availability of its 2010 3D-capable HDTVs, Blu-ray players, and home theater gear.
The initial wave of televisions that can handle the new 3D TV Blu-ray and TV formats won't be cheap. The company's first 3D TV, the UNC7000 series, has and is currently going for around $2,350 at Amazon for the 46-inch model ($2,600 MSRP). That's a $350 premium compared to Amazon's price for Samsung's closest 2009 non-3D equivalent, the
Samsung's larger 55-inch 3D TV costs about $3,000 at Amazon ($3,300 MSRP) while the 40-incher is being listed by online retailers at about $1,800 ($2,000 MSRP). From the limited 3D TV demos we've seen, we expect screen size to be even more important to enjoying the 3D effect than it is with normal, 2D HDTV. In other words, bigger is better than ever.
Battle of the $3K 3D bundles
For a mere $3,000, about what it costs to take a family of 200 to see "Avatar" in IMAX 3D, you too can experience "Full HD" 3D TV at home this month.
To watch 3D on your new 3D TV you'll also need a compatible Blu-ray player, 3D glasses and, yes, a Full HD 3D Blu-ray. Samsung's promotional offer, in conjunction with Best Buy, has you covered. Buy the UN46C7000 (at what we assume will be the $2,600 MSRP) and the
(Update March 10, 2010) By way of comparison and more hype,
Other 3D TV considerations
Vizio is the only other maker to announce pricing; its and start at $1,999. LG and Sony, for their part, haven't been in any rush to announce pricing and availability of their 3D TVs. LG, , will ship its first 3D TV and Blu-ray player in mid-May, while .
At this point it's worth mentioning again that 3D TV is in its earliest stages, and even the most trigger-happy buyers should at least spend some time demoing the technology--and not just by rewatching "Avatar" at the local IMAX. We expect animated movies like "Monsters vs. Aliens" and Sony's "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" to show the technology in its best light, but the jury's out on how other 3D content will look in the home. In addition to Best Buy, which will launch its 3D TV demos with Samsung nationwide March 21, many Sony Style stores have 3D TV demos going now. And it's also worth mentioning that CNET will review specific 3D TVs as early as we can.
For a basic primer on the "new" 3D TV technology, check out our 3D TV FAQ. For full information on the company's other offerings, check out the slideshow.