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On the first of December the Avatar movie was finally released on stereoscopic Blu-ray 3D format in the U.S. Unfortunately for the majority of stereo-3D (S3D) television owners and fans of Avatar, the Blu-ray 3D version of the movie will be available exclusively with equipment by Panasonic.

Panasonic, the consumer electronics company that has been popularizing S3D technology for years now, decided not to let the best-known stereo-3D movie on the open market, but inked a deal with Twentieth Century Fox to distribute Avatar exclusively with its HDTVs, Bly-ray 3D (BD 3D) players and various S3D bundles at least this holiday season. The consequence is that owners of non-Panasonic players and TVs will not be able to get unless they buy additional equipment they do not need from Panasonic.

In order to watch Avatar in S3D format at home, customers will have to acquire Panasonic Viera VT or GT-series of 3D Plasma HDTVs and get a free Panasonic 3D Full HD Ultimate Pack that  includes Blu-ray 3D version of James Cameron's Avatar and two pairs of rechargeable Panasonic 3D glasses. Alternatively, consumers may simply acquire the 3D Full HD Ultimate Pack for $399 and obtain a pair of 3D glasses that are useless for non-Panasonic TVs. Panasonic is also offering current owners of 2010 Viera TVs, who purchased their TVs between March 10, 2010 and November 30, 2010 an opportunity to receive a complimentary copy of Avatar on Blu-ray 3D via a mail-in request program.

While Panasonic has done a lot for Blu-ray stereo-3D standard in general and Avatar movie in particular, exclusive bundle of the highly-anticipated movie seems excessive. Other consumer electronics companies like Samsung Electronics or Sony Corp. have done a lot to promote the standard (in fact, Sony PlayStation 3 is the world's most popular BD 3D player) and locking one of the highly-anticipated movies to one hardware supplier does not seem to be a fair business practice. Potentially, Samsung and Sony can also cut bundling deals with producers of popular movies, but while the move will punish the Osaka, Japan-based maker of TVs, this will create a mess on the BD 3D market akin to a war of formats.

Alternatively, owners of non-Panasonic 3D TVs can download Blu-ray 3D remux of the Avatar from a torrent web-site and record it using a Blu-ray 3D burner (which costs less than $399), or get a copy of Avatar on Blu-ray 3D for $100 - $399 at Ebay.

Tags: Blu-ray, Stereo 3D, Avatar, Panasonic, Viera


Comments currently: 5
Discussion started: 12/04/10 07:55:30 AM
Latest comment: 12/07/10 08:16:24 PM
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more than $20 for ANY movie is absurd. hopefully no one buys into this
0 0 [Posted by: tabovilla  | Date: 12/04/10 07:55:30 AM]

$399 is like buying a PS3 except that PS3 is probably cheaper.
0 0 [Posted by: knedle  | Date: 12/04/10 08:11:05 AM]

you guys missed the part that you get 3d glass's with the purchase....a pair of them, go look up how much 3D glass's are worth

the fact is..this is now a monopoly and i can see other companies
sueing for this

or...its just going to get REAL ugly with companies
having individual rights to movies

which just screws the customer over...
0 0 [Posted by: ultimaone  | Date: 12/04/10 08:55:53 AM]
- collapse thread

agreed, the movie is free to those who purchase panasonic hardware (400$ minimum) and not available at all to anyone who uses non Panasonic hardware. This is really bad, I hope we don't see a trend of movies being exclusive to various hardware makers.
0 0 [Posted by: taltamir  | Date: 12/07/10 08:16:24 PM]

Way to go, Panasonic! $399 for a friggin' movie in 3D instead of 2D (already avaiable on 2D for $25).. go figure!

It's like 120Hz HDTV's that cost $2500 and up when they first came out in 2007 or 2008. 120Hz sucks anyways, and makes everything look like a soap opera. Now, we can have a 42" 1080p supporting 120Hz for only $500. And I still turn 120Hz off on my 65" 1080p HDTV.

Here's why:
"No way should films and TV be shot at 30fps. Unless you want No Country for Old Men to look like Days of Our Lives.

The goal of motion pictures is not to recreate reality, it's not even to show reality. I want to create a little psychic link between you and my pictures. I want to suck you into the world of the story, suspend your disbelief and make you forget about yourself and your life and just be in the moment of the film.

By not showing enough visual information, we force the brain into filling in the gaps... it draws you in even more. It's part of how you let go to the point where you can laugh or cry or feel tense or afraid or elated." -Naim Sutherland
0 0 [Posted by: Bo_Fox  | Date: 12/04/10 10:29:48 AM]


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