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TV Makers: 3D Is Not a Fad

11:30 AM -- Manufacturers like Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC) are working hard to convince consumers that the latest, biggest thing in consumer electronics -- 3DTV -- isn't just an expensive fad, The New York Times reports.

According to NYT, some are forecasting that 3.5 million to 4 million 3DTV sets will be sold in the US this year, but others are still skeptical about whether consumers will put up with high costs and various incompatible technologies. For instance: the 3D glasses that are still required to view 3DTV.

"The glasses go for a premium -- around $150 -- which means it's costly, for example, to have a few people over for a Super Bowl party, unless it's 'bring your own compatible spectacles,' " Ross Rubin, an analyst for NPD Group, told NYT.

In order to put this harrowing image out of your mind, manufacturers are throwing down big bucks for marketing. Panasonic Corp. (NYSE: PC) has sent a "fleet of tractor trailers on tour to acquaint consumers with the technology." And LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) has a series of 30-second spots running during the NCAA tournament.

But it's Samsung that's really going all out. The TV maker is spending $100 million this year on 3DTV marketing and advertising initiatives, including putting on a Black Eyed Peas concert in Times Square and hiring Oscar-winning cinematographer Mauro Fiore to use Avatar technology to produce a 30-second commercial called "Dedicated to Wonder."

Of course only time will tell whether we are really moving toward a new era in which "there will be less passive sitting back and watching television, and a more immersive, interactive experience," as Tim Baxter, president of Samsung Electronics America, predicts in the NYT story.

My prediction? Don't send out the invitations to your BYOCS Super Bowl party just yet.

— Erin Barker, Digital Content Reporter, Light Reading Cable

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