LAS VEGAS - The old saying "seeing is believing" couldn't be more
true when it comes to experiencing how 3D looks on an HDTV
set, and to put their money where the marketing mouth is, Panasonic held a
four-minute preview of the technology.
Jon Landau, producer of the blockbuster film "Avatar," directed
by James Cameron, best summed up the presentation by declaring, "3D is here."
This event, which was a shortened version of Panasonic's ongoing
tech demo that is going on throughout the rest of International CES at the
Panasonic booth, was followed by an informal Q&A session hosted by Bob
Perry, senior VP from Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company, and included
Landau, DirecTV's Eric Shanks and Skype's social media communications lead
Peter Parkes. The footage included snippets from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing as well as other
awe-inspiring sequences that showed how this technology is quite literally
bringing a new dimension to TV viewing.
Just as important as to what this technology can bring to that TV
watching is how it needs to be used properly, with Perry emphasizing that "the
last thing we want is the consumer to have a bad 3D experience."
It further stressed that this technology should be much more than
a gimmick, provided the content remains worth viewing. "Content is king," said
Landau, who added that the same approach to making quality entertainment is
what really matters, and he said that unless you create good content in 2D, it
won't work in 3D, but that this technology can enrich the experience. "It will
have more value when it is 3D."
Shanks stated that DirecTV will begin providing three channels of
content by June 1, and that all of the channels could be providing some content
sooner. This summer, consumers with HD DirecTV boxes will be able to download VOD content from one of the three channels. Shank
also suggested that this could be a repeat of the 1950s and early 1960s, but
not with cheesy B-movies and totally gimmicky 3D that throws objects out of the
screen. Instead, he emphasized that this technology could be a boon for
documentaries, sports and movies, but that it could - as it did in the 1950s -
make the movie theaters adapt as TV gets a leg up. "Home is going to over."
The group also discussed what this will mean for older content. While
consumers are already adapting to the change from 4:3 TVs to 16:9 sets, Perry
added that Panasonic's sets will not feature a method of converting 2D content
to 3D. Landau said he knows that the technology will enable it to happen, even
if it could be a massive undertaking, but fittingly he said, "We plan to do it âTitanic.' "