GREAT EXPECTATIONS

Is 3D a revolution or craze? At the NAB Show this year, the most impressive booth featuring this technology was Sony’s – it had a massive LED screen that uses line-interleaved 3D with polarization. All throughout the four-day show it was showing 3D clips of golf games, nature documentaries, TVCs and a rock concert. 3DTV it would seem, has arrived. While it’s easy to imagine the 3D LED Screen in a sports bar, 3D’s viability in living rooms remains a question – especially in Southeast Asia, where take-up for HDTV remains low. But perhaps consumers should skip HDTV altogether and start stocking up on 3D glasses. Or splurge on the ‘auto-stereoscopic’ 3DTV Samsung unveiled at CES earlier this year and skip the glasses altogether. This year’s lineup of 3D broadcasts, particularly the upcoming FIFA World Cup in South Africa, could be the impetus for other broadcasters to realise the potential of 3D content for the home. Now that content is increasingly available, the onus is on TV equipment manufacturers to convince consumers that 3D is not a fad. True, 3D has been around for decades in one form or another, but so far it has largely been relegated to the big screen. The commercial power of 3D fi lms is hard to dispute, and the rush to retrofit 2D movies could be an economic boon to the post production industry, as in the case of Alice in Wonderland and Clash of the Titans. There is even talk of an Iron Man 2 3D release. But so far the finished products are not as believable, not as mesmerising as films conceptualised and shot in 3D. Maybe it’s as Howard Stark said as he showed his son Tony an early model of the Stark Expo in Iron Man 2. “This is the key to the future. I’m limited by the technology of my time, but one day you’ll figure this out. And when you do, you will change the world.” In the meantime, I’m framing those red and green Cellophane lenses from third grade.



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