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“Business Questions Still Surround 3D” - Fox

by David Mercer | 4月 10, 2010

Thomas Edwards, VP, Digital Television Testing & Evaluation, at Fox, was speaking this morning at the Digital Cinema Summit at the Las Vegas Convention Center, one of the many conference programs running concurrently with the NAB Show over the next few days. Fox, of course, is a sister company to BSkyB under the News Corp parent, and BSkyB, as we have regularly reported, is a firm advocate of 3D as the next major business opportunity. So it would be interesting to see Fox and BSkyB executives debate the business viability of 3D after Mr Edwards’ comments that he “doesn’t know if 3D can make money”. Edwards listed some of the obstacles he is facing as Fox experiments with 3D production and broadcasting. 3D equipment, particularly cameras and rigs, are still “hard to obtain”, and are fragile, large and heavy. Stereographers, the specialists responsible for the 3D experience, need to be trained. There are design issues such as placement of the score box and other graphics. There are issues of quality with broadcast 3D, which today (under BSkyB and Fox’s current side-by-side approach at least) is sub-HD quality. And there are challenges associated with keeping the 3D material in synch throughout the various stages of production. Edwards also didn’t seem to be convinced that 3D necessarily improved on the 2D experience when it comes to sports productions. He noted in particular that wide shots, such as a view of a full half of a soccer pitch, tended to reduce the players to “matchstick figures”. In certain close-ups, however, 3D clearly offered a benefit, allowing viewers to appreciate the positioning of players more accurately than in 2D. Edwards called for the beginning of mass production of 3D cameras, rather than the current range of custom-produced two-camera rigs, and that they should be much smaller than present designs. No doubt we will see some examples of early “integrated” 3D cameras here at the NAB Show, with Panasonic for one expected to announce its first model. Register for Strategy Analytics' Analyst Breakfast at the NAB Show Client Reading: Global Audiovisual Market Forecast Add to Technorati Favorites
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