3D glasses for HDTV to cost at least $75 a pair

A few weeks back, I warned potential Blu-ray and HDTV buyers to hold off because 3D HDTV is coming. Considering the buzz around Avatar, your inability to wait means no watching Cameron's epic in 3D at home, which means IMAX-sized buyer's remorse because you couldn't wait for 3D-enabled (HDMI 1.4-equipped) gear, which is due to arrive next year.

We just got confirmation on that. LG told a bunch of Korean reporters it'll have its 3D HDTVs out in the second half of 2010. The company predicts robust sales, estimating it'll sell 400,000 3D HDTVs in 2010 (out of an expected 25 million total HDTVs worldwide) and 3.4 million in 2011. Sony says half the HDTVs it will sell in 2013 will be 3D.

But what about the glasses? Keep reading if you think they're a 3D deal-breaker.

The glasses pictured above are an artist's rendering of the sleek consumer-grade electronic shutter 3D glasses a company called XpanD will sell. The company already makes most of the industrial 3D glasses you'll be wearing when you go to see Avatar. According to XpanD, the first 3D HDTVs will be plasmas from Panasonic and LCD models from LG, Sony and Vizio. Philips is expected to follow in early 2011.

XpanD says two sets of glasses will be bundled with each 3D HDTV; additional pairs — the ones in the picture — will be priced between $75 and $150. As I reported in August, the battery in those glasses will last for 250 hours of 3D watching. A single series of flashes tell you when they're down to four hours of juice. They'll connect via microUSB to a charger.

The picture is an artist's rendering because XpanD is still working on the designs, some of which will be adorned with artwork to appeal to gamers or kids.

Of course what's still out of focus is: Are you willing to wear the glasses? You might say "No way!" now, but wait 'til Avatar comes out on 3D Blu-ray.