First 3D TV sets hitting store shelves



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Posted on March 10, 2010 at 6:59 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 10 at 7:02 PM

Do you plan to buy a 3-D TV?

LYNNWOOD, Wash. - It's a 55-inch, very thin TV that looks like any good sharp, high-definition, wide-screen TV. But this one has an extra - it can be switched to show things in three dimensions.

Yes, you need the glasses and they are not cheap. At about $150, they aren't just a pair of glasses with different colored lenses, they  are electronics themselves that use a type of "shutter" technology to convert what looks like a fuzzy double image on the screen in 3D mode into a sharp 3D image in your brain. Think of it like turning on and off your eyes in an alternating fashion. Each eye sees a slightly different image on the screen.

At less than $3,000, the 3D TV is pretty much in line with the 2D cousins of its same size, and in the 15 minutes we were in the Video Only store in Lynnwood, two of them sold. Sales manager Charles Hassa says interest has been high.

One of the buyers was Craig Dickagieser.

"With the movies coming out soon and the Blu Ray movies coming out soon, I just wanted to get a hold of one right away," he said.

3D Blu Ray movies are likely the strongest content category getting ready to hit store shelves. Broadcasting is a bigger question.  Cable channels including ESPN, Discovery and Sky TV are among those announcing they will offer 3D content.

They may not be for everybody. Each brand of TV needs to have its own glasses, meaning you can't use the Samsung glasses to watch a Sony set.

But the image is compelling. At the Hard Drives Northwest store in Bellevue, a demonstration of 3D gaming has been running for months.