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3D Televisions Hit Market

In general, the reaction to 3D has been enthusiastic. For the moment, the 3D sets come with one pair of glasses. Extra ones cost about $150 each.

On the heels of the blockbuster film "Avatar," there's a wave of enthusiasm for 3D.

This month, many television manufacturers are rolling out 3D sets. Avatar, the biggest box office success in history, has opened the door for 3-D TV.

The first 3D home entertainment system, according to Panasonic, its manufacturer, was sold to Brad and Ashley Katsuyama in New York for $3,100.

It's supposed to be the ultimate home viewing experience, designed to put you in the game or give you the thrill of 3D in a big theater.

Already, a new "Alice in Wonderland" in 3D is replacing "Avatar" at movie theaters in the U.S. And studios are planning to release new 3D movies in the coming months.

Bloomberg's media specialist Mike White has analyzed the numbers for the television sets.

"The forecasts I've seen and this is from a research firm called Insight Media, forecast sales to increase from 3.3 million this year to 50 million by 2015. That's worldwide," he said. "So they see this as something people will buy."

Shiro Kitajima is president of a division of the Panasonic Corporation of America. He says the company traveled to the U.S. to find out if American consumers will dig deep into their pockets for 3D sets.

"Our survey of 100,000 consumers shows that once they experience 3D they immediately see its value and they say they are willing to pay a premium to have it at home," he said.

Sports programs and movie channels are expected to drive the push for 3D television. ESPN says it will launch ESPN 3D, the first 3D television network, with 85 live sporting events the first year, starting with the 2010 World Cup in June. 20th Century Fox says it will release the 3D version of "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" on Blu-ray. And DIRECTV, which delivers television programs by satellite, announced it will have 3D channels starting in June.

Lauren Aaronson, an editor at Popular Science Magazine, says a new Blu-ray video player has paved the way for 3D TV.

"People have been demonstrating these sets for a long time. But the reason it is coming out now is because of a new standard for Blu-ray players that can show movies in 3D," she stated. "Before there was no way in getting that 3D movie into your house and now there is and that's why the sets are coming out now."

And then there are the glasses and keeping track of them, like a TV remote.

"The way 3D works is, it creates the impression that both of your eyes are seeing a separate image at once," Aaronson explained.

For the moment, the 3D sets come with one pair of glasses. Extra ones cost about $150 each. In general, the reaction to 3D has been enthusiastic.

"Avatar" created a new planetary experience. And an earthbound experience in 3D.