3D Entertainment Summit – A taste of the Future?

The 3D Entertainment summit (and the adjoining mobile summit), have seen some interesting thoughts (and technology).

First of all, I sat and listened to a panel with James Cameron, who is very big on 3D (can you say Avatar…).

He and others have dazzled us with a lot of impressive numbers for 3D, and especially mentioned the rapid growth of 3D in the theaters. From what I heard, though, they didn’t seem to be breaking out kids oriented blockbusters – including, Lion King 3D, Train Your Dragon, and a great many others, many of which are animations – from “grownup 3D” which is more of the Avatar type of movie. I have no doubt (in theaters) about the successes of 3D there, overall, but we’re still not seeing much in “grownup 3D”, where I see gaining traction to be the most difficult. We shall see.

But, moving right along, the big emphasis here seems to be on mobile, glasses free, 3D devices such as smartphones and tablets. Many seem to believe that widespread success of 3D smart phones (next year or two?) will be a core vehicle to bring 3D content into the home. (Think download to your phone, watch some of it, get home, stream the rest to your LCDTV (or projector – we hope)…

Most of the emphasis in terms of content is around movies, and games. Interestingly, content that I like to call Discovery HD type content (but in 3D), hasn’t been discussed much. Yet, as a grownup, I’m getting far more enjoyment out of watching sports and especially, Discovery HD type 3D, than movies, of which there are only a handful of non animation, non-action content movies worth viewing. The amount of content will change. One speaker forecasted a total of about 250 films in 3D – many created in 3D, more converted to 3D, will appear by 2014. Just remember, 2014 (the beginning of) is still 2.25 years away.

But, a brief look at the 3D channels on my DirecTV, and the amount of content there, is growing rapidly.

For those of you with 3D, try those Stephen Low videos – they include my favorite 3D non-movie – Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D, and a new one called legends of flight or something like that. Again, 60 frame – not 24, based, non-movie content. Educational, and dynamic. I mean I have friends who would never watch a surfing flick who insisted on watching Tahiti from beginning to end.

BTW, the only 3D projector here a the summit, is a cinema projector – a Sony I believe.

All the other action in the exhibit area are LCDTV (and plasma), with many showing glasses free 3D. interesting, but pixelated (one explained that their glasses free, reduces the 1080p content to 1/4 HD – that is 960×540. That’s a bit better than old fashioned DVD’s but 1/4 the resolution of normal 1080p… Not for me, thanks. Now if they can get that up to 1080p resolution to the eyes, then there’s hope for glasses free. Right now, I think it’s a confusing distraction. On the other hand, who knows – in two years or three, perhaps most 3D capable LCDTVs will be glasses free. Hard to guess.

On the other hand, glasses free projectors? Haven’t heard a peep.

That’s it for now, got a session to go attend. -art

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