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Beyond HD

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Now that HDTV transition is complete (well, almost), broadcasters are looking for new ground to break. And they may have found it in 3DTV. This theme, was probably the biggest “news” coming from NAB last week in Vegas.
3D was all the buzz at NAB. There were a variety of 3D demos all over the show floor, and in the NAB “Content Theater”, it seems most of the panel discussions focused on 3D production.
At Monday's Pixar Animation Studios Case Study at the Content Theater, the company focused on stereoscopic production and presentation.
The packed event, sponsored by Sony and RealD's 4K 3D projection system, offered glimpses of Pixar's first experiments with 3D, included re-created scenes from "Toy Story" and "Ratatouille," adding new 3D effects as well as extended sequences from Pixar's upcoming stereoscopic release, "Up."
Bob Whitehill, stereoscopic supervisor, and Josh Hollander, director of stereoscopic production, shared some of preparation for the May 29 release of "Up" and the Oct. 2 premiere of the stereoscopic versions of "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2."
Filmmaker brothers Jean-Jacques and Francois Mantello presided at another panel in the Content Theater, and showed clips from their "Oceans 3D: Into the Deep," which was shot digitally in 3D.
Francois Mantello said that today his son won't watch movies that are in black and white. "I look forward to the day when my son's son won't watch anything unless it's in 3D." Indeed.
Of course, all that production talk is Hollywood at its best, always trying to push the envelope and devise new ways to bring audiences into the theater. But it may leave those on the AV side of the fence wondering whether 3D is going to have a significant impact anywhere but the movie theater.
The answer to that is yes. Look for 3D to be the HD of 2010 and beyond.
At the Monday Super Session at NAB, "Alternative Stereoscopic 3D Content: The Next Breakout Hit?" some key players who are putting 3DTV into practice talked about the future of 3D. Jonathan Dern, president of Cinedigm Content and Entertainment Group; Steve Hellmuth, executive vice president of operations and technology for NBA Entertainment; José Dias, director of research & development at TV Globo in Brazil; John Rubey, president of AEG Network LIVE; and Gerry O'Sullivan, director of strategic product development for BSkyB… all talked about creative use of 3D content to bring a new kind of experience to the conusumer. As an example, O'Sullivan showed clips from a ballet and a live performance by British pop-rock group Keane at Abbey Road Studios that was simultaneously beamed to the Web and select theaters in London. "With the Keane performance, 60,000 kids downloaded instructions to make their own 3D glasses," O'Sullivan said.
On Thursday and Friday, May 7-8, Insight Media will host a webinar to review the 3D news and take aways from NAB. (for info: dian@insightmedia.info )… should be interesting.


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