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LG Electronics, Panasonic and Samsung are set to give Sony a run for its money in the emerging 3D TV market after LG announced that it aims to sell 400,000 3D TVs in 2010 and 3.4 million in 2011.

Sony, which is banking its future on the acceptance of 3D TV technology, is set to invest millions in the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South, with the company recording 25 matches in 3D.

The biggest problem Sony has, say analysts, is that no free-to-air TV stations are planning to put 3D content to air in the short term and very few movie studios are set to invest in 3D movie content, with several claiming that that they want to see what happens with the launch of the new Avatar blockbuster that was shot in 3D and is now being released in movie cinemas.

Also of concern is the fact that consumers still have to wear special glasses to view the 3D content.

Last night LG announced that it aims to sell 400,000 3D TVs in 2010 and 3.4 million in 2011. They also said that it will have several 3D TVs on show at the 2010 CES show in Las Vegas.

LG said that it will have a full line-up of 3D TV models on sale in Australia in the second half of 2010. LG currently offers one 47-inch 3D TV, which is sold mostly to businesses.

Analysts that SmartHouse have spoken to are still cautious about 3D TV technology. They claim that that 3D content costs up to 50 per cent more to make a regular movie or TV show.

“3D TV sales and 3D content will go hands in hands. Content providers will be reluctant to boost 3D production before certain number of 3D TVs are sold, and TVs won’t sell well unless there’s enough content available,” J.M. Hong, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities, told Reuters.

Sony, which is hyping the technology because it has very little else to offer retailers next year, recently said that it expected 3D TVs to account for up to 50 per cent of its total TV shipments in the financial year to March 2013.

Meanwhile, LG, Samsung and Panasonic claim that 3D will only be a small part of their total TV offering. LG expects to sell 25 million LCD TVs alone in 2010.

Japanese makers like Sony are pinning their hopes on 3D TVs to revive their TV business after losing ground to Korean manufacturers Samsung and LG. 

Research firm DisplaySearch forecast the 3D TV market to reach $1.1 billion in 2010 and grow sharply to $15.8 billion by 2015, according to data provided by LG.

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