Samsung releases 3D TV info, warns of health risks

3D LED and 3D plasma TVs set for April release, warnings of possible health risks when watching 3D TV

The Samsung PN50C7000 is one of the 3D plasma televisions that will be released in Australia in April.

The Samsung PN50C7000 is one of the 3D plasma televisions that will be released in Australia in April.

A Samsung e-mail has revealed new information on the company's plans to release 3D LED and 3D plasma televisions in Australia in April. The newsletter also contains information on three different models of active-shutter 3D glasses that company will release.

Samsung's March newsletter claims the company's 3D TV range will "revolutionise" TV watching upon its release in April, with a "totally immersive" viewing experience. The Samsung Series 7 C7000 3D LED TV — a version of the 3D Series 7 currently on sale in the US — joins the Series C7000 3D plasma — again, similar to the US model — as the flagship models of Samsung Australia's 2010 television range. The Series 8 plasma and LED models available in the US will not be released in Australia at the same time as other models; these models are expected to feature Internet access with the possibility of on-demand 3D content. Lower-priced 3D LCD televisions will follow the flagship LED and plasma models into the market at an unconfirmed later date.

Samsung's 3D LED and 3D plasma televisions feature an integrated converter to watch 2D content in 3D, although converted content will not be as visually impressive as native 3D content. Samsung's 3D technology in its Series 7 and Series 8 models has recently drawn criticism in preliminary tests by US consumer advocacy group Consumer Reports, with visible blurriness and inferior viewing angles to a Panasonic Viera TH-P50VT20A 3D plasma television.

Samsung will offer three different models of 3D glasses in Australia, with two rechargeable models in adult and child sizes and an adult-size replaceable battery model. The battery-powered model uses a coin-sized cell that should last for around 400 hours of viewing, while rechargeable models may be markedly inferior — a US Samsung representative recommended units should be fully charged before watching an average-length movie.

Any customers that purchase a Samsung 3D TV during the April launch period will receive a 'starter kit' containing two pairs of adult-sized 3D glasses and a Blu-ray version of the Monsters Vs. Aliens movie. A 3D-compatible Blu-ray player such as the unreleased Samsung BD-C6900 or a Sony PlayStation 3 — once a free 3D-enabling update is released — is required to watch 3D Blu-ray movies. Samsung is treading wearily into the 3D arena, with a warning on its Web site explaining the possible risks of watching 3D television. The warning mentions that viewing 3D content may cause disorientation, headaches, or motion sickness and may trigger epileptic seizures.

A product launch at the end of March is expected to reveal full details of the Australian release of Samsung's 3D LED and 3D plasma televisions.

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Campbell Simpson

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