Wednesday, May 26, 2010

#3D TV Takes Off Albeit Slowly

3D TVs need standardization and more content to fulfill their potential, according to iSuppli. Look for 3D TVs to ramp up slowly at first, hitting peak mass market distribution by 2012. R.C.J.

Here is what iSuppli says about its own report: Although consumers have started to buy 3-D TVs, a number of challenges—including standardization, content availability and interoperability—must be resolved before the new television technology can take off, according to iSuppli Corp. Worldwide shipments of 3-D TVs—introduced to the market for the first time in March—are expected to reach 4.2 million units in 2010, thanks to increasing traction and acceptance from enthusiastic early adopters. Global 3-D TV shipments will then triple to 12.9 million units in 2011 and then more than double to 27.4 million units in 2012...
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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"Power of the Dark Crystal" in #3D to be Filmed in Australia

The long awaited sequel to the1982 fantasy film The Dark Crystal will be shot in 3D in Austrailia. The original was directed by puppeteers Jim Henson and Frank Oz (creators of The Muppet Show). The animatronics used in the film at the time were groundbreaking, but this time round with 3D, the puppeteer movie is expected to dazzle. Look for the Power of the Dark Crystal in 3D sometime in 2012. R.C.J.

Here is what the promoters say about their own work: Set hundreds of years after the events of the first movie when the world has once again fallen into darkness, "Power of the Dark Crystal" follows the adventures of a mysterious girl made of fire who, together with a Gelfling outcast, steals a shard of the legendary Crystal in an attempt to reignite the dying sun that exists at the center of the planet. Omnilab Media's Christopher Mapp and The Jim Henson Company's Lisa Henson, Australian based Omnilab Media is teaming up with The Jim Henson Company to bring the much anticipated fantasy sequel, "Power of the Dark Crystal" to the big screen in stereoscopic 3D. The highly anticipated film will be among the most ambitious projects to ever be produced in Australia. Power of the Dark Crystal will be produced by the Australia based production arm of Omnilab Media, Ambience Entertainment. The Jim Henson Company's executive producers are Brian Henson, Lisa Henson and Jason Lust. Omnilab Media's executive producers are Christopher Mapp, Matthew Street and David Whealy. Cinemarket Films' Peter D. Graves ("Terminator Salvation") rounds out the executive producer team. Peter Spierig and Michael Spierig, writers and directors of "Undead" and most recently, "Daybreakers," have come aboard to direct the screenplay written by Australian Craig Pearce ("Moulin Rouge," "Strictly Ballroom," "Romeo Juliet") based on an original script by Annette Duffy and David Odell. The legendary fantasy artist Brian Froud will reprise his role as conceptual designer of the film, which will use a stunning mix of live action and traditional puppetry combined with visual and special effects produced entirely in Australia. Omnilab-affiliated Iloura ("Where the Wild Things Are," "The Pacific," "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark") has already begun work on the film's complex CGI elements. With this team in place, next steps will be to secure worldwide distribution.
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Saturday, May 22, 2010

3D Film Factory lowers entry price to pro stereoscopic video

3D Film Factory rig puts professional stereoscopic video within the budget of any professional video camera owner with a precision optically engineered, impurity-free, 50/50 beam-splitter glass set at 45 degrees for $2,495. Pioneered by professional 3D movie directors, a beam-spitter uses a half-silvered mirror to separate the left and right eye's images into 90 degree planes, allowing each camera location to be independently controlled without bumping into each other. By providing unlimited camera and alignment control, the BS Mini rig offers a viable alternative to high-priced 3D rigs costing ten times as much. Set up for the Red, Canon XH-G1 or Sony EX3 camcorders. Users said to have total control over convergence settings, inter-ocular (camera-to-camera) distances including full camera tilt and roll (XYZ axis) while maintaining perfect alignment. Weighing 19.8 lbs, the black anodized aluminum frame is designed to accommodate smaller professional camcorders as well as compact HD cameras, including Red's Scarlet, the Si-2K mini and the Canon DSLR 5D and 7D still cameras. Entire 3D rig attaches to professional tripod heads with an aluminum tripod adapter. According to the manufacturer: "The result is the World's most affordable, professional stereoscopic beam-splitter ever produced. The BS Mini Rig makes 3D shooting both simple and amazingly precise. When combined with one of our real-time 3D viewing systems, a dual camera sync and genlock, cinematographers can capture extraordinary 3D images for a fraction of the cost of all other systems." Additionally, the 3D Film Factory offers a complete line of other 3D camera set-ups, including the 3D-BS Indie & Pro Rigs (beam-splitter), intended for larger broadcast cameras and camcorders, as well as, several inexpensive side-by-side rigs - the SS Indie & SS Pro Rigs. The 3D-SS PRO RIG ($499) model is the lowest end model, designed for use with two Red One cameras or any two identical professional cameras with "genlock" for synchronization. Manually adjustable inter-axial (camera-to-camera) distances from 6” to 24” (15.2 to 61cm). Camera mounts glide smoothly into optimal position & lock firmly with manual convergence control. Extremely durable, lightweight aluminum construction is nearly indestructible, according to manufacturer. Minor modifications may be necessary when mounting to jib arms and cranes. Tripod base-plate accommodates both 1/4-20 & 3/8-16 screws and the whole rig weighs 9 lbs. with the camera mounts. Camera Rail Dimensions are 30”L x 1.5”H x 3”W (76.2 x 3.8 x 7.6 cm). Includes 2 pro camera mounts & all hardware.
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Friday, May 21, 2010

Glasses-Free #3D Coming to Phones Thanks to #3M

3D without the dorky glasses was something I perfected ten years ago using a $5000 custom made slidebar and a Nikon DSLR to capture 36 side-by-side images that you dice up behind a lenticular lens to create an autostereoscopic display--now 3M has reduced that cost to under $1. Look for every cell phone with a color screen to adopt these new autostereoscopic screens over the next two years. R.C.J.

Here's what 3M says about its own demonstrations at the Society of Information Display (SID) next week: 3M Demonstrates Suite of Display Film Solutions During SID Display Week 2010; Energy Efficient Films for TVs, Monitors and Notebooks With Glasses-Free 3D Film for Handhelds...Building upon its efforts to improve energy efficiency in electronic devices, 3M’s Optical Systems Division will showcase a number of energy efficient exhibits for notebooks, handheld devices, monitors and LCD TVs during SID Display Week 2010, to be May 24-28 in Seattle, Wash. In addition, the company will demonstrate its glasses-free 3D film for handhelds--the world’s only film to deliver auto-stereoscopic 3D without impacting color or resolution of the displays...3M will show its field sequential 3D optical film for handheld devices—enabling true auto stereoscopic 3D viewing on mobile phones, gaming and other handheld devices without the need for glasses. The film only requires one LCD panel, operating at a 120Hz refresh rate. Backlight module assembly is nearly identical to existing systems—allowing for simple integration at the assembly stage.
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Monday, May 17, 2010

#3D TV Comes to Poland, Russia

Poland had its first 3D TV broadcast this weekend, and Russia will follow suit this fall. Look for every major television market to screen 3D TV over the next year. R.C.J.

Here's what Broadband TV News says: On Saturday, May 15, Canal+ successfully undertook the first-ever 3D transmission in Poland, broadcasting the Ekstraklasa match between Wisla Kraków and Odra Wodzislaw. There were public screenings in pubs and the Multikino cinema chain in Warsaw, Kraków and Poznan, with subscribers with 3D sets and HD receivers also able to watch the match at home...Meanwhile in Russia, the DTH platform NTV-Plus has announced plans to broadcast the UEFA Champions League Final between Bayern Munich and Inter Milan on May 22 in 3D...There will be a public screening at the October cinema in Moscow...
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ericsson in 3-D TV partnership with ESPN

Delivering sporting events in 3D to Ericsson mobile handset users was announced recently, even though there are no 3D screens yet to display it. Look for every major smartphone vendor to start using 3D-capable screen on all new designs. R.C.J.

Here's what Ericsson says: ESPN is deploying a variety of Ericsson 3D and HD products including the complete solution for direct-to-home and contribution and distribution of 3D content. The Ericsson solution delivers more efficient bandwidth usage while ensuring the transmissions meet ESPN's high standards for picture quality.
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Saturday, May 8, 2010

MIT says 3D Technology will Change the World

MIT's magazine called Technology Review has listed 3D as one of the top 10 emerging technologies that will soon "have a profound impact on how we live and work." Look for more endorsements of 3D in 2010, such Consumer Reports which has given its seal of approval (but a recommendation to wait for more content and for prices to go down). R.C.J.

In particular, MIT's Technology Review said that Mobile 3-D and automatic 2D to 3D conversion will change how people live and work by going mainstream on smartphones. MIT expects companies like Dynamic Digital Depth to take 3-D mainstream on smart phones and mobile devices by automatically converting existing 2-D content to 3-D on the fly. In the longer term, Insight Media estimates that 2D-to-3D conversion will become standard equipment on up to 50 million 3DTVs by 2016. IM's estimates include 2D-to-3D technology in 3DTVs, set top boxes and Blu-ray players. 3DTV, Blu-ray players and digital Set-Top-Boxes will including media processors (systems on a chip, SoC) to run the 2D to 3D conversion algorithms.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"Sony CEO Stan Glasgow to Explore Future of 3D at SID"

Sony Electronics’ President and Chief Operating Officer Stan Glasgow will deliver the keynote address during the Society for Information Display (SID) Conference. Glasgow will describe Sony’s vision of the future, with 3D emerging as the next great platform for home entertainment. Look for Sony making a big push for its 3D TVs in advance of major sporting events and films it will release during 2010. R.C.J.

Drawing upon Sony’s work on implementing 3D capabilities in its professional cameras, digital cinema 4K projection systems and other equipment, as well as consumer products including TVs, Blu-ray disc players, and gaming consoles, Glasgow will provide a comprehensive view of the challenges and opportunities in the 3D platform. Because in 3D, ‘seeing is believing’, Sony will be creating a 3D cinema experience within the Business Conference using their 3D equipment. Specifically, they will use: a Sony SRXR320 3D Projector, a Silver Screen to show the 3D images and distribute 3D glasses for attendees. Attendees will be treated to a mixture of content from Sony and other content providers, including movies, live sporting events, gaming and other entertainment. The release of numerous 3D movies has created a tremendous amount of interest in 3D beyond the cinema. But in moving from the cinema to the home, there are additional challenges. In his presentation, Glasgow will describe Sony’s concept of the “lens-to-living room” ecosystem for 3D, encompassing content creation, processing, delivery and viewing in the home.