The EBU’s Dr Hans Hoffman told MIPCOM delegates at the 3D Content Trends session, that the introduction of what he described as UHD-1, the near 4,000-line broadcasting standard, “would help 3D, and UHD-1 and 3D would benefit each other. But these new formats are going to require new skills, and a new grammar for programme makers. Simply panning too fast, or zooming too rapidly, might upset the viewer. The industry must also address the now recognised content-gap which for the moment remains the biggest challenge.”
However, he suggested that these problems are being addressed and while most people recognised the need for transmission systems without the need for glasses, great strides were being made in creating ‘glass-free’ 3D. “At the moment people are buying sets not realising that they have the potential to receive 3D. Others are put off by the glasses! It is a chicken and egg situation, but at the end of the day the viewer must win.”
Steve Schklair, CEO and founder of 3ality Technica, told delegates that TV was more than ready for 3D. He said that there were more than enough TV channels now transmitting 3D, as well as packaged media, to make the extra investment in 3D worthwhile.
“Even if Blu-ray were the only outlet – and I firmly believe in the case for broadcast – but the finances would work,” he said. “The difference in budget between 2D and 3D is more than offset by packaged media production.”
Schklair’s company supplies 3D technology to the likes of BskyB, NBC and most film and TV productions focusing on 3D. He showcased examples of the popular ‘How It’s Made’ series, now being shot in 3D in order to maximise its longer-term value, and NBC’s ‘Chuck’, an episodic comedy-drama, and again where 3D production was managed within the traditional production timetable, and increasingly with minimal extra investment in technical costs or crew.
“3D makes content future-proof,” he argued. You have a much greater likelihood of licensing your product five years from now if you shoot in 3D today. It builds extra value for your libraries.”
However, he also cautioned against launching channels without sufficient content. “That’s not the way of building or maintaining an audience. They may never come back.”