Blu-Ray a Player in 3-D

Oct 5, 2008  •  Post A Comment

While standards for over-the-air 3-D broadcasts are likely years away from being set, television makers and studios are looking to Blu-ray DVD technology as the first step toward mass acceptance of the new technology.
Walt Disney, a big proponent of 3-D theatrical releases, signaled a similar push toward home entertainment when it released “Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds 3-D Concert” in cinemas in August. Movies like the “Shrek” series and smaller, cultish titles such as “Night of the Living Dead” also have 3-D versions out on Blu-ray, whose storage capacity dwarfs standard-definition discs and gives the format 3-D capability.
The Blu-ray Disc Association has said it’s still deciding what type of 3-D disc standards it will back—specifically, whether it will favor adjusting Blu-ray specifications to handle the change in image rendering from 3-D or leaving the specs alone and having the conversion take place within the television itself.
With movie studios making more than a dozen theatrical releases a year available for 3-D viewing, the number of U.S. 3-D movie screens is expected to triple to about 5,000 by the end of 2009, Richard LaBerge, executive vice president at 3-D technology developer Sensio Technologies, said at the 3-D Biz Expo conference last week in Los Angeles.
Such adoption is likely to transfer to the home because studios, which get more than half of their annual revenue from DVD sales, feel they can charge a premium for 3-D Blu-ray discs. U.S. revenue from DVD and Blu-ray sales and rentals totals about $25 billion a year.
“There is a premium to be grabbed and brought down to the home market,” Mr. LaBerge said at the conference.

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