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Industry Execs Discuss Rollout of 3D TV

The 3D@Home Consortium announced that it capped off the 2010 CEA Line Shows yesterday with a 3D Summit that examined the major issues and challenges of delivering 3D to U.S. homes—from content creation to the consumer experience and everything in between.

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Unedited press release follows:

Industry Executives Discuss Rollout of 3DTV at CEA Line Shows

Early reports indicate consumers are satisfied with their 3DTVs as 3D takes off in the U.S.

NEW YORK–The 3D@Home Consortium, the industry’s leading organization focusing on accelerating the adoption of high-quality 3D entertainment in homes worldwide, capped off the 2010 CEA Line Shows yesterday with a fact-filled 3D Summit that examined the major issues and challenges of delivering 3D to U.S. homes—from content creation to the consumer experience and everything in between.

Noting that retail sales of 3DTVs in the U.S. are outpacing forecasts, Rick Dean, THX senior vice president and chairman of the 3D@Home Consortium, provided an overview of the multifaceted 3D eco-system. “From the creation and production of 3D content to distribution via satellite, cable, Blu-ray Disc and streaming to playback on specially equipped 3DTVs, there are many pieces and moving parts that need to work together seamlessly,” he said. “Hollywood studios, content production firms and companies from all corners of the electronics industry are working to make that happen.

“3D is defining a new standard for home entertainment,” Dean added. “The success of Avatar and, more recently, Toy Story 3, has greatly raised the public’s awareness of 3D. Now the challenge is to translate that theatrical success into a wonderful home entertainment experience. That is the goal of the 3D@Home Consortium. While we find 3D image quality to be fulfilling the 3D promise at home, there is still much to do in delivering a great user experience with devices and content working together.”

Early adopters are reporting a largely positive 3D at home experience, according to Chris Chinnock, founder and president of Insight Media and 3D@Home board member, who shared interim results of an ongoing survey. “Preliminary feedback reveals that 3DTV owners are not having any problems setting up their TVs and are generally pleased with the experience, including the comfort of 3D glasses,” he said. “We are also encouraged to learn that the early adopters we spoke with consider 3DTV pricing to be fair and uniformly rated the quality of 3D imagery as good, despite the presence of ghosting on some TVs.”

Noting that 3D gaming and theatrical releases will help sell 3DTVs as the first wave of cable and satellite 3D broadcasts roll out in 2010, Chinnock said: “The bottom line is content creation companies are motivated to see 3D succeed at home as it has in movie theaters. 3D is a very attractive source of revenue for Hollywood, which these days derives 50 to 60% of its revenue from non-theatrical products.”

Juan Reyes, chief technical officer of post-production company BluFocus, gave the audience a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what it takes to produce a 3D Blu-ray Disc compared with a standard “2D” disc. “To ensure 3D quality and playability on an array of hardware, a minimum of 10 tests must be completed vs. three or so for regular discs,” he said, noting that “creative” testing is also important to ensure the best possible experience. “You don’t want to make the viewer work too hard for the 3D effect.”

What broadcasters and cable and satellite networks are doing to distribute 3D to consumers’ homes was addressed by Chris Lennon, senior technology advisor for the Harris Group. “As ESPN’s 3D broadcasts of the World Cup games have demonstrated, networks are making distribution choices and working toward setting the necessary standards to respond to consumer desire to have 3D at home,” he said. “ESPN is saying they will deliver a minimum of 85 3D sporting events this year and CBS, Fox, Turner and the Discovery Channel all plan to offer 3D content in the U.S. this year.”

Addressing the frequently asked questions “why are 3D glasses necessary” and “why don’t all TV makers use the same glasses,” David Chechelashvili, head of gaming and retail at XpanD, explained that glasses will be necessary for the foreseeable future. He also updated attendees on universal glasses, which will be interchangeable between different brand 3DTVs. “There is a need for an industry standard, which will greatly simplify the consumer experience,” he said, adding that the Consumer Electronics Association’s (CEA) efforts in this area will be “market defining.”

Simon Tidnam, vice president of sales & marketing for HDlogix, explored 2D to 3D conversion, noting that many opportunities exist for 3D conversion to be combined with native 3D capture to produce a rich 3D viewing experience and, ultimately, expand the amount of 3D content available.

The 3D Summit concluded with a lively panel discussion about the future of 3D at home. Moderator Seth Porges, associate editor of Popular Mechanics, was joined by representatives from Samsung, Dreamworks Animation, Verizon FiOS TV and Sony Broadcast and Production Systems. The panelists agreed that 3D will be pervasive within in five years.

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About the 3D@Home Consortium
Comprised of more than 40 companies representing the entire 3D development channel from North America, Asia and Europe, the consortium is working to accelerate the adoption of quality 3D technology in the home by enabling an entire “system” of products that will broadcast, play, and display 3D content. More information at