LAS VEGAS Panasonic called for the industry to rally around standards this year for stereo 3-D high definition TVs so products can flow in 2010. The company sees Blu-ray disks as the optimal way to deliver the content and the Blu-ray Disc Association as the right forum to drive a consensus on it.
"Panasonic will take the lead in proposing a full HD standard," said Yoshi Yamada, chief executive of Panasonic Corp. of North America in a press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show here.
The move is a savvy one for Panasonic because it positions the company as a leader in what will likely be a significant new era. However, it also lets it place the blame on the rest of the industry if efforts to resolve a host of thorny issues get bogged down.
"We are discussing this with other manufacturers and Hollywood studios," Yamada said. "To succeed there needs to be content," he added.
Indeed, Mitsubishi and Samsung already sell 3-D-Ready HDTVs, however to date they have had almost no content to play. To address that problem, Mitsubishi partnered with Nvidia at CES to show stereo 3-D PC games on its TV.
Taking a step in that direction, the company said it will open a Blu-ray 3-D authoring center in Hollywood in February. The center will be equipped with a 103-inch plasma display and a 380-inch digital theater screen.
James Cameron, director of "Titanic" and an outspoken proponent of stereo 3-D, supported the move in a video talk at the press conference. Panasonic has supplied "a truckload" of equipment for Cameron's next movie, "Avatar," a stereo 3-D movie to be released December 10, he said.
"3-D is not a gimmick any longer," Cameron said. "It's ready for prime time, and I am convinced in the future this is the way people will do their computing, watch their movies and see their TV," he said.