As we announced earlier in the summer, the HD 3D Home Theater System is quickly becoming a reality. Today, both Sony and Panasonic gave updates on their fast approaching technology, which will allow you to enjoy 3D films and television events in the comforts of your living room. Both companies plan to have their systems in stores by the end of 2010, and they are taking their home systems on the road for potential buyers to try out firsthand. Here are the press releases:

Panasonic, a leader in High Definition TV technology, today announced the start of a nationwide truck tour which will give the public their first look at Panasonic's Full HD 3D Home Theater System. The Full HD 3D system, which was first introduced to industry insiders and media in the U.S. at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2009, utilizes Plasma technology and a prototype Blu-ray Disc player to deliver true 1080p Full HD 3D entertainment in the home.

The Panasonic Full HD 3D Home Theater Tour will be powered by three custom-built, expandable tractor trailers, each of which will house a Full HD 3D Home Theater environment. Each of the trucks can accommodate between 25 and 35 people per demonstration. The Tour will visit corporate headquarters of retailers, trade shows, industry conferences, universities and athletic events. One of the trucks will also be featured inside Panasonic's booth at CEDIA Expo 2009, which runs from September 9-13 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

"Panasonic is proud to once again lead the way into the next frontier in home entertainment," said Bob Perry, Executive Vice President, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. "Through our Full HD 3D Home Theater Truck Tour, consumers will, for the first time, have a chance to experience the immersive world of Full HD 3D TV for themselves, and we have no doubt that they will love what they see."

A key part of the Panasonic Full HD 3D Home Theater Tour is to help consumers understand 3D TV technology and the differences between the Full HD 3D experience for the home and other technologies developed for that purpose.

"Panasonic's Full HD 3D represents the next stage of audio-visual technologies for the home beyond High Definition," said Eisuke Tsuyuzaki, Panasonic Corporation of North America's Chief Technology Officer. "Full HD 3D enables virtually the same quality and immersive experience as in 3D theaters. We also hope through our 3D TV truck tour to assure consumers that Panasonic is working diligently with fellow consumer electronics leaders and Hollywood to create a single open Full HD 3D TV standard."

In addition, Panasonic recently announced its collaboration with Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Lightstorm Entertainment on the global promotion of director James Cameron's film Avatar. This will be the first live-action 3D movie to be released when it hits screens on December 18, 2009. As the film's exclusive audio-visual partner, Panasonic has provided some of its latest AV technology products to help create the eagerly awaited film, which will debut in theaters worldwide in both 2D and 3D. As part of the collaboration agreement, Panasonic will launch a global advertising campaign tied to Avatar, which will promote numerous Panasonic AV products, including 3D. It will mark the first time Panasonic has run a worldwide advertising campaign focused on a single film.

The initial stage of the Panasonic Full HD 3D Home Theater Truck Tour is expected to run through March 2010, and will allow more than 500,000 people to experience the immersive world of Full HD 3D Home Theater for themselves. While the complete truck tour schedule will be released at a later date, the tour is expected to play for an extended stay at the Staples Center & LA Live, in conjunction with Los Angeles Lakers games this fall and winter, as well as other high-profile public appearances.

Sony announced that it would introduce a 3D compatible BRAVIA LCD TV in 2010. Incorporating frame sequential display and active-shutter glass Systems(1), Sony's proprietary high frame rate technology will enable the reproduction of full High Definition(2) high-quality 3D images, and will form the centerpiece of Sony's 3D entertainment experience for the home.

In addition to 3D compatible BRAVIA LCD TVs, Sony will also develop 3D compatibility into many more of its devices, such as Blu-ray Disc products, VAIO and PlayStation 3, to provide a multitude of ways in which 3D content - from 3D movies to stereoscopic 3D games - can be enjoyed in the home.

In the growing industry of 3D cinema, Sony has supported and driven the expansion of 3D by providing a wide variety of professional equipment for the shooting, production and screening of movies in 3D. The number of digital 3D screens is increasing rapidly, and is expected to reach 7,000 by the end of 2009(3). In addition to 3D movies, Sony's range of professional 3D products is also driving the growth of 3D production and distribution across a range of entertainment industries, from theatre and music performances to sport and beyond.

Embracing the 'make.believe' philosophy, which signifies the company's ability to "turn ideas into reality", Sony will strive to further enhance synergies across its group companies. Sony will leverage its wealth of technology and engineering resources spanning both professional and consumer markets to bring the optimum 3D viewing experience to the home, from 2010 and beyond.

On the Sony booth visitors will be treated to a showcase of stunning 3D imagery, made possible by the high frame rate, full 1080P High Definition BRAVIA TV. The presentation highlights the breadth of Sony's video games, movies, football action and sport entertainment content that will make 3D such a compelling experience and will bring 3D Home in 2010.

B. Alan Orange