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3D TV is here January 18, 2010

Posted by Daniel Martin in General.
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It may take some time to kick off but three-dimensional television has made its way to televisions. On the pro side, I can’t wait to watch the World Cup on 3D. On the con side…Belén Esteban’s new nose on 3D doesn’t look like a very inviting thing to be looking forward to.  Here’s the newspaper story and a video.

Article retrieved from The Daily Telegraph.

Broadcasters believe that 3D television will be a big hit next year

Broadcasters believe that 3D television will be a big hit next year

It will be third time lucky but technology companies and broadcasters promise that 3D television will be a big hit next year. However, you’ll still have to wear those silly glasses.

3D TV has long been promised as the biggest revolution to the broadcasting industry since John Logie Baird, the Scottish inventor, sent the world’s first colour pictures from Crystal Palace to London’s Dominion Theatre in 1938.

Three-dimensional films were all the rage in the 1950s, with some of the decade’s biggest movies – including André De Toth’s horror thriller House of Wax – wowing fans. But most of the major studios and directors quickly abandoned the concept because of poor picture quality and high production costs.

A further round of 3D films that had viewers wearing red and green paper glasses hit screens in the 1970s. But the terrible colour quality and shaky images induced nausea and left 3D’s image in tatters.

“It’s going to be different this time,” says Tom Morrod, TV and broadcast analyst at Screen Digest.

“The technology is very, very different. It is a completely different experience. The anaglyphic, red-green glasses stuff was terrible but new technology is actually very good.”

Mr Morrod says 3D TV will now be a success because “there is actually some good content”. He says the success of 3D at the cinema proves that the medium is popular and can be used to “educate” consumers about the benefits of upgrading to 3D TV at home.

“Cinema audiences are paying extra to watch the same film in 3D,” Mr Morrod says. “If you told people a year ago that they had to shell out extra for a 3D TV it just wouldn’t happen, as people’s only recollection of 3D TV was that it was pretty rubbish.”

While the current batch of 3D films has been well received, it is Titanic director James Cameron’s forthcoming Avatar that is tipped to break the mould.

Mr Cameron said he has been waiting 20 years to make the movie, but the technology has only recently caught up with his imagination. With its $237m (£144m) budget, Avatar promises to be the most ambitious 3D film ever released.

With the concept successful on the big screen, television manufacturers battered by falling sales in the face of the recession are pinning their hopes on putting 3D TV in homes.

Far Eastern technology companies have been producing TVs with 3D capability for several years, but Sony and Panasonic have recently stepped up a gear by producing large flat-screen high-resolution 3D TVs.

Panasonic’s 50-inch HD plasma home cinema system, launched in Japan earlier this month, has film buffs weak at the knees in anticipation of its European launch next summer.

“We are serious about the future of 3D,” said Masayuki Kozuka, the head of Panasonic’s 3D division. “We will not have succeeded until half of all TVs we sell are 3D TVs.”

Paul Jackson, consumer technology analyst at Forrester, said: “Panasonic’s new TV is markedly better than anything produced to date, and could be the first TV that actually does what it promises.”

Mr Jackson said the TV is revolutionary because it shows two different images directed at each eye, with the viewer needing special glasses to view the 3D effect. However, the £50 price tag for each pair of glasses – on top of the £1,500 TV – may prove a stumbling block.

“It’s OK to look stupid wearing silly glasses in the cinema but it’s not quite the same at home,” he says.

“It will work for big events, like movies and sporting occasions but, with such a premium price, I’m not sure people would consider it unless it was going to transform the viewing experience.”

BSkyB is promising to fill the content gap by launching a channel dedicated to 3D TV next year after being “stunned” by audiences’ reaction to events it has already filmed, including the English National Ballet’s Swan Lake and Premiership football.

“It will be at least five years until there’s enough content
to convince the man on the Clapham bus to buy a 3D TV but it will happen,” says Mr Jackson.

“It’s one of those things that you can demonstrate in Dixons on a Saturday, and once you’ve tried it and it looks phenomenal you’ll get past the idea of wearing silly glasses.”

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Comments»

1. rafa - January 19, 2010

I think it’ll be an interesting thing, really different from the TV that we’re used to watching, but without a doubt better than our current TV, and as usually happens this change from current TV to 3D TV will be faster than we think.
You’re completley right about Belen Esteban, actually I can’t imagine myself watching this girl “face to face” in my livingroom, I just hope that at this moment I’m not alone, because I’m sure that I’ll feel deep shivers all around my body. Well about football, things change, I mean it’ll be wonderful to watch our National Team on a 3D TV, unluckily for me, I’m sure that my “Atletico” won’t play better on a 3D TV, there are things difficult to change, even for 3D TV….


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