January 6, 2006 2:27 PM PST

Philips: 3D TV to appear in 2008

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LAS VEGAS--The 3D TV experience, without the red and blue paper glasses, is likely closer than you think

Philips Electronics hopes in about two years to introduce a high-definition television that can play 3D content, CEO Rudy Provoost said in an interview at the Consumer Electronics Show. The technology is in the labs at Philips and not yet being shown publicly.

Although movie studios don't produce movies in 3D yet, consumers will be able to get a 3D experience from a 2D high-definition disc and these TVs, he said. As the technology catches on, studios will likely produce movies made from the beginning with 3D in mind, he added.

The 3D experiments are part of an overhaul at the European electronics company. Historically, Philips has been a large company with a sprawling product line that bounced in and out of profitability. It did well in Europe, but often struggled in other parts of the world.

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Since becoming CEO last year, Provoost has trimmed the company's product lines and re-emphasized upscale features on many products. The Ambilight lighting system on its TVs, for example, match the light coming from the TV with the ambient light in the room. The company has been reorganized into two groups: one that concentrates on premium products and another that works on DVD players and other established product categories.

Sales have begun to rebound in North America, Asia and Latin America. "Before were we running on one cylinder (Europe). Now we are running on four," he said.

Provoost also shed more light on the acrimony behind the HD DVD and Blu-ray dispute. Although the two standards differ technically, the participants behind each of the standards stand to collect substantial revenues.

"They all look for return on investment," he said. Philips backs Blu-ray and contributed some of the intellectual property behind it. (The company also garnered substantial royalties from CD). The company will come out with its first Blu-ray player in the second half.

 

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