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Avatar 3D Blu-ray hits high street via exclusive bundle with Panasonic kits

The much-awaited 3D Blu-ray version of James Cameron’s highest-grossing 3D opus Avatar will be available in December – but exclusively bundled with Panasonic Full HD 3D products, until 31 January 2011, when the arrangement ends and the title goes on general release.

Through a partnership between Panasonic and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, the 3D BD disc will be only available to consumers who purchase a new Full HD 3D VIERA TV bundle which includes two pairs of active shutter glasses, a 3D Blu-ray player or a 3D Home Theatre system and three other 3D titles – Ice Age 3, Coraline and a Paul Carrack concert, filmed in 3D by Peter van Hooke (see separate interview), with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at AIR Studios in London.

Panasonic has authored and produced the 3D BD title at its state-of-the-art Advanced Authoring Centre, Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory in Universal City, California. In February 2010, it became the first facility worldwide to be capable of authoring 3D Blu-ray discs. The Fox title is reportedly the first 3D BD disc to carry the THX-BluFocus 3D Certification.

The Fox-Panasonic deal is broadly similar to the exclusive product-bundling arrangement Disney struck with Sony Electronics in the fall with 3D Alice in Wonderland.

At the Digital Entertainment Group’s Blu-Con 2010 at Los Angeles, Avatar director Cameron said (via satellite link) that 3D is here to stay, but stressed that consumers will not enjoy the full 3D experience in the home until the arrival of glass-free autostereoscopic 3D displays, which he reckons is 8 to 10 years away.

Story filed 06.11.10

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