CEA, ESPN, DirecTV To Stage 3DTV Retail 'Demo Days'

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Looking to spur consumers into purchasing brand-new 3DTV sets, the Consumer Electronics Association has teamed up with ESPN and DirecTV for demos showcasing three-dimensional sports programming at hundreds of electronics retailers nationwide Sept. 10-12.

Retailers participating in the National 3D Demo Days event include Best Buy, CompUSA, Fry's Home Electronics, Sam's Club, Sears and independent specialty retailers. A complete listing of participating retailers and locations can be found at http://www.DigitalTips.org/3D.

ESPN, in collaboration with AT&T, Comcast and DirecTV, will bring the following sporting events directly to stores for consumers to view: On Saturday, Sept. 11, at 3:40 p.m. (ET), ESPN 3D will feature the live telecast of college football's defending Big Ten Conference champion No. 3 Ohio State hosting No. 19 Miami of the ACC. Additional ESPN 3D programming in stores will include the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the X Games 16; a 3D replay of college football's Boise State vs. Virginia Tech; and footage from the Harlem Globetrotters.

Ohio State band

DirecTV, for its part, will provide the U.S. Open tennis semifinal and final matches live in 3D on its n3D channel, sponsored by Panasonic, on Sept. 10 from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Sept. 11 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., and 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sept. 12, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The parties hope that, for consumers on the fence, seeing 3DTV will be believing. According to CEA research, of consumers who have seen 3DTV, 46% rated the experience as "excellent" and 79% rated the visual experience positively.

The CEA's forecasts for the nascent 3DTV category have oscillated in recent months. Most recently, the trade group said it expects 2.1 million units to ship in the U.S. in 2010 and increasing to 11 million in 2011.