With James Cameron’s Avatar popularising 3D content, and this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas brimming with 3D televisions, Samsung is pushing hard to be first to market in SA with their 3D range. At an event held today at Constitution Hill, Johannesburg, TechSmart had a first glimpse of what they have to offer. Samsung's range includes their premium plasma TV line, the 7000 Series, which now includes Samsung’s proprietary built-in 3D processor, and their new LED TV 8000 and 7000 Series. Blu-ray, as one of the only methods to deliver real 3D content in SA, is also given attention via the BD-C6900 Blu-ray player as well as a 3D Blu-ray home theatre system.
According to Corrie Labuschagne, TV product marketing manager for Samsung Electronics South Africa, Samsung’s 3D TVs should hit the shops at the end of April, but he did not reveal any indication of pricing on the TVs. What was mentioned was that Samsung will be making use of proprietary 3D active glasses which are battery powered to sync with the screen’s 3D transmission. The cost of a pair of these glasses? R900 for the entry-level pair, with the battery lasting about 30 hours. There are rechargeable glasses available but Samsung representatives could not provide a price. When buying any of the 2010 Samsung 3D TV and 3D Blu-ray player or home theatre systems, you will get a 3D starter kit which includes two pair of glasses as well as the 3D Blu-ray version of Monsters vs. Aliens.
Responding to a question on 3D content availability in the country, Labuschangne mentioned that there are no immediate plans from Multichoice to provide any 3D channels on DStv. So consumers are dependent on 3D video releases on Blu-ray for the foreseeable future. Luckily the Samsung 3D range can convert regular 2D content to 3D in real-time, which in light of the lack of any real 3D content looks good enough. We recommend you go and test it for yourself, since Samsung will be embarking on big in-store display drive next month.