Sony 3D TVs to hit Australia in July


Consumer electronics giant Sony today revealed it was planning a push with 3D television technology into the Australian market in July, at which point it believed the whole ecosystem around the new platform would be ready.

At a glitzy marketing launch in Sydney this morning (pictured), senior global Sony executive Noritaka Sawamura said Sony believed in the “total solution” for 3D, with content needing to line up with devices such as the company’s PlayStation 3 console, professional cameras, its BRAVIA line-up of televisions and even its Vaio laptop range – and of course professional 3D glasses that would help to avoid flickering problems with 3D.

Sony Australia’s deputy general manager of its consumer products division, Toby Barbour, said the company’s line-up of 3D TVs would arrive in Australia in the July timeframe. The company has one model planned, the LX900, which has 3D fully integrated, and two other models, the HX800 and 900, which can display 3D with an optional accessory.

3D television technology is slowly coming to the market at the moment, with the success of director James Cameron’s Avatar film driving consumer awareness of the potential of the new medium. Panasonic has also recently revealed it is planning to release 3D TV technology in Australia in mid-2010.

“This year represents the sunrise of 3D technology in Australia,” claimed Barbour. “At the cusp of becoming a reality in homes in Australia, we will deliver our BRAVIA 3D TVs in July when the full 3D story can be realised – combining hardware and content.”

Pricing on the 3D models, however, has yet to be finalised. Most of the TVs without 3D capability will start to become available throughout March and April.

Sony has for the past few years released a report on Australian adoption of HDTVs. However, it will stop producing that report, instead focusing its research on 3D adoption going forward.

IPTV also on the agenda
Sony also today announced that it would partner with Australian organizations Yahoo7!, SBS and Billabong to stream local content directly to its new range of TVs enabled for internet video (IPTV) for free. Sony sees the offering as being complementary to normal television and Blu-ray/DVD consumption, and it’ll be available without scheduling restrictions.

This morning the company demonstrated a real-time stream of Seven’s show My Kitchen Rules over the internet to a BRAVIA television, without the need for a separate set-top box.

Billing the service as “catch-up TV”, Barbour said the service would normally take about ten seconds to buffer before playing. The company has signed content deals with another dozen global players (such as YouTube and Wired), but a notable absence from the streaming service was the ABC, whose streaming iView platform has become popular in Australian loungerooms.

The IPTV streaming service will be available from next month. A range of Seven shows, including local offerings such as Home & AWAY, Sunrise, Seven News, Today Tonight and Packed to the Rafters will be available, as well as international shows such as Heroes.

All in all Sony is planning to launch 26 new models in Australia this year, featuring a new and streamlined design aesthetic, and with many of them featuring the IPTV offerings.

Image credit: Delimiter