[TV Broadcast Europe]
By most accounts there is just not enough 3D content for 3DTV to take off. Or perhaps there are not enough 3DTV displays out there for advertisers and broadcasters to create 3D content. Either way there is a chicken and egg dilemma which a recent panel at CES set out to address.
Tom Cosgrove, president and CEO of 3net said: “There was considerable hype three years ago that 3D will take over HD. That was never going to happen. By the end of the year 10-14m households in the US will have 3DTVs. Already there are 90 million 3D device displays globally. The reality is that this is a business that is going to stay but the onus is on us as producers to innovate content but we have to narrow the gap in economics between 2D and 3D.”
Bryan Burns, vice president of strategic business planning, ESPN is also of the opinion that 3D is here to stay: “The situation today is much like 2002-03 and the introduction of HD – it’s an evolutionary process,” he said. “Clearly the highway has been built. A higher percentage of consumer electronics screens will have 3D inside them. When that base of displays enters the marketplace it is up to content producers to drive usage in the home.
“However you can’t make the 2D show suffer. You can’t have separate footprints for 2D and 3D broadcasts, so for us, 5D is a way to get two shows out of one that doesn’t cost you as much. [ESPN aired its first live 3D (shot simultaneously in 2D) studio show from the Las Vegas Convention Centre].
Bob Zeitter, executive VP and CTO, HBO, said: “When we started a 24-hour HD network, most of our programming was in true HD. We were able to go back and take films that were aired on TV and remaster them in HD. You can’t do that affordably in 3D. We are currently running about twelve 3D movies a year – that volume clearly needs to grow – but there is not a cost effective way to go back and convert that content.”
“The economics of feature film and TV production are vastly different. If a feature costs $150m for a two-hour movie, that’s $75m an hour. Scripted TV varies from $500k an hour to $5-6m an hour. So the cost of going from 2D to 3D is more easily absorbed in a more expensive project. If it takes us 12 days to produce one episode you can’t make it take 15 days because adding 3D seriously impacts the cost.” …