(Edit from AP, New York) Want to be the first one on your block with a 3-D television? It will cost you about $3,000.

Samsung and Panasonic started selling 3-D TVs in U.S. stores last few weeks, inaugurating what manufacturers hope is the era of 3-D viewing in the living room. But because the sets require bulky glasses, and there is for now little to watch in the enhanced format, it will take at least a few years for the technology to become mainstream, if that happens at all.

(Edit from AP, New York) Want to be the first one on your block with a 3-D television? It will cost you about $3,000.

 

Samsung and Panasonic started selling 3-D TVs in U.S. stores last few weeks, inaugurating what manufacturers hope is the era of 3-D viewing in the living room. But because the sets require bulky glasses, and there is for now little to watch in the enhanced format, it will take at least a few years for the technology to become mainstream, if that happens at all.

 

Samsung Electronics Co. announced that it is selling two 3-D sets. For $3,000, buyers get a 46-inch set, two pairs of glasses and a 3-D Blu-ray player.

 

Panasonic Corp. has also made an announcement of selling 3-D sets soon after Samsun Electronics Co.

 

The sales debut comes as moviegoers have shown considerable enthusiasm for the latest wave of 3-D titles in the theater.

 

Although it’s clear that 3-D sets for the home will appeal to technology and home-theater enthusiasts, it remains to be seen whether other consumers will be enticed to spend at least $500 above the price of a comparably sized standard TV and Blu-ray player.

 

TV makers hope so, because sets with the last big technological improvement- high definition-have come way down in price, below $500.

 

One challenge will be that the 3-D effect requires viewers to wear relatively bulky battery-operated glasses that need to be recharged occasionally. They are not like the cheap throwaways that have been used in theaters since the 1950s.

 

When you’re wearing these 3-D TV glasses, room lights and computer screens may look like they’re flickering, making it difficult to combine 3-D viewing with other household activities. Anyone who’s not wearing the glasses when the set is in 3-D mode will see a blurry screen (The sets can be used in 2-D mode as well, with no glasses required).

 

To give buyers something to watch, Samsung is including a 3-D copy of “Monsters vs. Aliens” on Blu-ray disc with its packages, in a deal with the studio, DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. Its CEO, Jeffrey Katzenberg, said it will convert its “Shrek” movies to 3-D for Samsung TV buyers later this year.

 

Sony Corp. said Tuesday it will start selling 3-D televisions in June. U.S. prices were not revealed, but the sets will cost $3,200 and up in Japan. The company hopes that 10 percent of the TVs it sells in the next fiscal year will be 3-D units.

 

Sony also plans to issue software upgrades for its PlayStation 3 game consoles and some of its Blu-ray players so they will be able to play 3-D discs.

 

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