MediaFile

CES: Panasonic hopes to sell 1 million 3D TVs in first year

You may only have just heard about 3D TV, but Panasonic is already expecting it to be a hit with consumers. Yoshi Yamada, CEO of Panasonic’s North America unit, told us the Japanese gadget maker hopes to sell 1 million units — or more — and they won’t even hit the stores until the spring.

It’s not clear yet how much more the 3D TVs will cost than big screen LCDs that many people just bought to replace their old tube TVs.

And we can’t resist mentioning — again — the giant 152-inch LCD TV television that Panasonic is showing off here at the Consumer Electronics Show. Big is back, in emphatic fashion.

The company  trotted out what it called the world’s biggest television, and it’s a breath-taking, 8-million pixel plasma beauty that had onlookers gawking and some of the more covetous offering hundreds of thousands to take it home.

But it’s not for sale, even if you could afford it. Panasonic’s Steven Simpson tells us the intention wasn’t to spur tech envy, but to demonstrate the ability to produce a massive, single sheet of what is called “motherglass” — from which multiple displays can be cut. The panel on display translates into twelve 42-inch plasma displays. There are 10 in existence, Simpson said, adding that Panasonic’s largest production-line TV, a model for commercial use, comes in at just 103-inches.

CES: Panasonic’s really big TV screen (video)

This video does not do justice to Panasonic’s 152-inch HD TV, on display at CES. 3D TV is getting all of the buzz, but this screen just makes you stop and ponder, you know, everything. I only included that guy on the left for perspective. Its a big doggone screen.

Digital Britain vision lacks political roadmap

The UK government’s grand reworking of digital policy, due out Tuesday, has something for every one to chatter about — from funding for a further broadband buildout to reworking television licensing fees to how the country faces up to the issue of media piracy.

But final publication of the Digital Britain report on Tuesday follows the marked deterioration of the economic environment as well as the collapse of the political muscle needed to marshall the report’ more ambitious changes through Parliament.

Stephen Carter, the former U.K. cable executive, named as U.K.’s Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting only nine months ago, plans to leave the government soon after releasing the report.

Obama greenlights analog TV for another season

After all the excitement, endless public service announcement ads and electronics retailers salivating over anticipated high-definition TV sales, it turns out that the United States might not be switching to digital television just yet.

President-elect Barack Obama is backing a move to delay a mandatory switch to digital TV signals on Feb. 17 because viewers might not be prepared. Also, the government has run out of $40 coupons to help pay for converter boxes.

The idea that as many as 8 million homes (according to Nielsen data) might lose TV reception in a few weeks is not the kind of headache a new White House administration wants to deal with so it’s perhaps not surprising talk of a delay, possibly up to four months, is gathering support.

CES: Samsung gadgets get reporters hot and bothered

If gadgets were fashion models, Samsung would probably send its TVs, Blu-ray players and camcorders sashaying down the runway, with reporters and photographers scrambling to get close. That’s how proud they were of their gadgets at the Consumer Electronics Show — admittedly, they were all slim, sexy and worth a slip of drool.

The South Korean electronics giant paraded a number of new or upgraded TV models in Las Vegas today, including a line-up of high-definition TVs that are supposed to be more energy efficient because they use LED as a light source rather than traditional cathode lamps.

Jongwoo Park, Samsung’s president of digital media, was quite bullish when asked about the tiny LED TV market. “We’re going to create the market,” he said.