Studios Look to Home Market to Support 3D

Digital cinema faces competition from viewers at home with their plasma displays before 3D screenings have even opened. Bill Foster, senior technology consultant, Futuresource Consulting, says while all the focus has been on the cinema, studios have a need to develop revenues from other sources.

"The home video, pay TV and even free-to-air revenue is even greater than that from the box office," says Foster. "If you take a multimillion dollar film, such as the forthcoming Avatar, if you're limited to all the 3D costs coming out of the cinema, and with the proportion of 3D even within digital cinema, Hollywood needs the extra revenues."

"We need to have a standardised method of packaging and distributing 3D content," says Foster. "We need a standardised interface so that if HDMI is going to carry a stereoscopic image we need to know how it will be carried and how an ordinary TV going to know what to do with it."

Foster says the solution could be to ensure that HDMI has an additional flag to signal the fact it is a stereoscopic image. "If you've got one HDMI input on your TV you can pull out your Sky box and put it a Blu-Ray player and it will work. The industry needs a standardised interchange, it doesn't mean that everybody is going to shoot 3D in the same way and it doesn't mean everybody is going to display 3D in the same way but the bits in between have got to be standardised."

By Julian Clover, IBC Daily