Last week HeyUGuys were invited to Air Studios in North London to witness the launch of the new Panasonic Full HD 3D TV and Blu-ray players, and while I can’t claim any immense technical knowledge I do know that when I left I was certain that 3D TV will play a major part in the future of home cinema.

Speakers from Panasonic (both product managers and R&D), Sky Movies, Pearl & Dean among others came on stage to wax lyrical about the shiny new dimension we’ll all be enjoying and much hyperbole was bought forth pertaining to 3D being the next logical step forward for home entertainment, much as colour had superseded black & white and HD is looking to overturn standard definition. And part of the problem will be convincing people to upgrade their recently purchased HDTV to these new TVs.

While broadcasters and DVD producers will have to catch up with this new technological frontier, as without content these new screens and players are nothing,  Ubisoft and Sky chimed in on their plans for 3D games and TV broadcasting respectively. Clearly excited by the prospect of a new wave of content there will of course be some recent content which will be available on launch. More details on this later.

The Panasonic 3D Viera sets were designed to lead the way to inroduce Full HD 3D TV and when the lights dimmed and we were shown the goods I briefly glimpsed the future through the 3D glasses. Panasonic collected footage specifically for their new HD 3D TV during the Beijing Olympics and it was truly stunning. The thousands of drummers moving in unison was crystal clear and the depth perception was totally immersive.

This was the 3DTV moment I was waiting for, when the potential of the medium was realised, and I have to be honest, I wasn’t convinced of the need to preview 3D TV in pubs using high profile sporting events but this is exactly the right arena to get people used to the technology, glasses and all.

For movie fans the big question is – Will 3D TV be the next big thing for your home cinema? This was highlighted by the majority of the speakers, using the ubiquitous Avatar as the shining example of embedding 3D  in the public consciousness, and the key to getting people to invest in these TVs will be in the 3D Blu-rays which will be released and I was pleased to see that pre-orders of the new TVs/3D Blu-ray will get a free copy of Ice Age 3 (fair enough – the Blu-ray looked pretty good) and Henry Selick’s Coraline. That is brilliant marketing on Panasonic’s part and that would easily entice me to put the TV/Blu-ray player on my wish list as Coraline, apart from being a brilliant film, makes great use of 3D.

With new content shot in 3D, and with Panasonic pushing these new TVs to play the HD 2D content as perfectly as possible, I can see a future which involves switching from 2D to 3D on the fly – something the guys were keen to point out that these TVs were made to do – and I can attest that while the 3D looked stunning in Full HD, there’s so much more than Match of the Day to look forward to. Avatar will clearly be the first high profile 3D Blu-ray, though Coraline does the job for me, and it’s an interesting time for TV companies as they try to push the boundaries of home entertainment.