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Sky promotes 3D service with Avatar ad
By Branwell Johnson

BSkyB’s first ever 3D cinema advertisement will run before science-fiction epic Avatar to promote the launch of its forthcoming 3D service. Then service is due to launch in 2010 and the ad has been .developed by Sky Creative.

The teaser spot will feature before all showings of James Cameron’s 3D blockbuster, which opens nationwide from Friday (18 December). Sky is also carrying out a public demonstration of its 3D TV content at the O2, where it is a sponsor.

It is also planning to provide a permanent demonstration at Sky’s flagship retail store at London’s Westfield shopping centre. Both facilities will allow members of the public to view Sky commissioned 3D content.

Hilary Perchard, Sky’s director of product management, says: “As we move towards the launch of the UK’s first 3D TV services, these are our first steps in widening public awareness of the service and providing a ‘seeing is believing’ experience.

“As Sky’s 3D TV services uses the same underlying technology as that being used in cinemas, it seemed natural to use Avatar as our first marketing platform. We also wanted to give consumers the opportunity to sample first hand the quality of experience we will offer next year.”

Cameron Partners With Panasonic
To Develop 3D For The Home
By Ben Williams | Source:

Panasonic is in a festive mood this year. Not only is 2009 the first year the company will operate entirely under the Panasonic name (formerly Matsushita), but it is also the company's 50th anniversary.

This year's CES press conference focused, initially, on Panasonic's new 3D high definition technology (as showcased at CEATEC). The company plans on introducing fully functional 3D plasma displays in 2009 and hopes to convince the industry to adopt their new 3D standard.

Perhaps most excitingly, famed film director James Cameron has partnered with Panasonic to assist them in developing effective 3D tools to bring 3D into the home. Mr. Cameron spoke to the crowd, via pre-recorded video, and confirmed his commitment to helping the company bring 3D into home theaters.

One can be assured that Mr. Cameron's new 3D film, Avatar, will be a showcase title on 3D Blu-ray. The focus of the conference then turned to Panasonic's new LCD and plasma displays.

Most impressive is their new Z1 plasma that is a mere one inch thick. The set also features wireless 1080p reception capabilities that will allow the set to integrate with a new wireless equipped Comcast set top box.

Panasonic leads way for 3D in the home Cameron's Avatar might be first such release in 2010
By Susanne Ault

Panasonic is leading consumer electronics manufacturers dead-set on getting modern 3D into homes as soon as next year.

One huge obstacle is that there are no agreed upon terms regarding building 3D-capable TV sets that are compatible with all possible content sources, including existing Blu-ray and/or DVD players.

For the Blu-ray/DVD market today, studios must downgrade their 3D theatrical releases into anaglyph form, with 3D imagery that’s more crude and blurry compared to big-screen technology. It appears that James Cameron’s Avatar, set for theatrical release Dec. 18, might be one of the first 3D theatricals to be released in modern 3D form on Blu-ray.

Panasonic donated 3D camera and TV display equipment for filming, and the company is expected to stay with the project through all of its various phases. In a YouTube clip posted on Jan. 25, Cameron thanks Panasonic for its Avatar involvement and remarks, “I look forward to working with Panasonic to bring high-quality 3D onto home screens.”


Avatar's Catalytic Impact on Future 3D TV and Film
By Diane Mermigas | Excerpt:

Even more impressive than the $232 million global weekend premiere of Avatar is the catalytic impact the ground-breaking 3D film will have on mainstream film and television.

The two-and-a half hour Twentieth Century-Fox movie that cost about $300 million to produce and an additional $100 million to market breaks the creative barriers that have stymied 3D technology for decades. “(It) will set off a new wave of 3D film making in the years to come and is likely to accelerate consumer interest in in-home 3D,” said Pali Capital analyst Richard Greenfield.

Piper Jaffray estimates the 3D market will grow from $5.5 billion this year to $25 billion by 2012 at a compound annual rate of 50 percent.

It remains uncertain whether such 3D extravaganzas as Avatar will translate into lucrative 2D-only DVD and Blu-ray sales. There also are concerns about whether the recession has slowed necessary upgrades by studios and theater exhibitors to support accelerated 3D production. A new PricewaterhouseCoopers report concludes that every industry sector must make adjustments over the coming 18 months to meet the creative and financing demands of such expensive, complex production.

Similar challenges involving creative and tech-related compatibility also will confront game studios and game consoles, TV station operators and broadcast and cable TV networks, Internet companies and consumer electronics manufacturers. “Among the other issues studios must find answers to are the integration of special effects in a 3D movie, whether continuing online piracy will jeopardize the investment in 3D and how quickly 3D can be integrated with Blu-ray technology, enhancing the appeal of each,” the report observed.

The proliferation of 3D entertainment is expected to revitalize the movie theater experience as well as struggling broadcast TV stations and networks. The technology advances made by director James Cameron and widely adopted by the industry could become a particular draw for game consoles already 3D-enabled as a source of video-on-demand. The Avatar already is raising the bar on video game production values. The growth of 3D films has contributed to a surprisingly strong $10 billion box office in 2009 even in a weak economy.

Growth of mainstream consumer support — beyond initial young moviegoers, early adopters of 3D TV and hardcore gamers — will require the development of decoding standards and a string of commercial 3D successes, the PwC report contends. Before Avatar, analysts estimate 3D films have generated $1.3 billion in revenues in 2009 (the same as Blu-ray films). That is up from about $300 million in the prior year, although 3D film tickets generally are $3 to $5 more than the standard movie price.

RealD, a 3D tech company, says there are more than 50 films scheduled for 3D release over the next several years catering to some 440 Imax theaters worldwide (178 of which are domestic). Avatar won’t be alone for long in pursuing next-level 3D. Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland for television and Steven Spielberg’s live-action Tintin for the big screen will be matched by major 3D video game efforts involving iPod, PS4, Xbox 720, 3D Blu-ray and 3D blockbuster video games.

Greenfield says that by this time next year, 3D could be more of a presence on television, although it is expected to gradually grow only to about 30 percent penetration over time. Perhaps more important than the numbers is the wave of artistic innovation Avatar and Cameron, director of other hit films such as Titanic and Terminator 2, are already having on all forms of digital video in the new decade. “The honest truth is that nobody in the world has ever seen a movie like Avatar,” Greenfield said.

Diane Mermigas has been a contributing editor and columnist at Mediapost, The Hollywood Reporter and Crain Communications as well as writing for such sites as Seeking Alpha, TrueSlant and BNET. In addition to speaking and television appearances, Diane consults with companies in digital transition, and is completing a book on the future of media.

Panasonic and Twentieth Century Fox Team For Global Promotion of James Cameron’s AVATAR
Panasonic Contributes to Creation of Highly Anticipated Hollywood Release

Panasonic Corporation today announced collaboration with Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Lightstorm Entertainment on the global promotion of James Cameron’s AVATAR.

As the film’s exclusive audio visual partner, Panasonic has provided some of its latest AV technology products to help create the eagerly awaited film which will debut in theaters worldwide on December 18 in both 2D and 3D.

In the epic action adventure AVATAR, James Cameron, the director of TITANIC, takes us to a spectacular new world beyond our imagination.

On the distant moon Pandora, a reluctant hero embarks on a journey of redemption and discovery as he leads a heroic battle to save a civilization. As part of the collaboration agreement, Panasonic will launch a global advertising campaign tied to AVATAR and promoting numerous Panasonic AV products, including 3D. It will mark the first time for the company to run a worldwide advertising campaign which is focused on a single film.

Panasonic will show dazzling Full HD 3D assets related to AVATAR at numerous events to prove the power of 3D technology to consumers around the world. A sales promotion campaign tied to the new film will also be carried out by the company throughout the world. In the United States, Panasonic will be activating the AVATAR partnership with a variety of sales and marketing components including integrated advertising in major media outlets as well as promotional activities to key trade and consumer audiences.

Beginning with the IFA trade fair to be held from September 4, Panasonic will show Full HD 3D videos including the AVATAR trailer at trade shows and events across Europe. In Japan, promotional activities aligned with Twentieth Century Fox include TV commercials for Panasonic’s VIERA flat-panel TVs that will air this Fall. AVATAR is also a film that uses the latest in cutting-edge film production technologies made possible.

Panasonic’s AV products supported this effort. For example, Panasonic's 65-inch and 103-inch Plasma monitors are being used not only in the production studios but also in James Cameron’s own editing room because their picture quality and accurate color representation earned high marks from the discerning film director. Other Panasonic products in use include the AJ-HPX3000G P2HD professional camcorders with P2 Memory Cards, which were used by James Cameron to map the scenes before shooting in 3D, notebook computers and LUMIX digital cameras. “I believe 3D is how we will experience movies, gaming, and computing in the near future.

3D is not something you watch, it’s a reality you feel you could step into,” said Mr. Cameron. “In 2008 I was thrilled to join forces with the pioneers at Panasonic. They share my philosophy on the future of entertainment. As a consumer electronics company, they are setting new standards in technology. Panasonic’s brilliance is demonstrated by their 3D presentation for the home. I’ve had an opportunity to view Panasonic’s Full High Definition 3D technology first hand and it was remarkable. Panasonic is the perfect teammate for us behind and in front of the camera."

Avatar a hit with Panasonic's 3D TV Road Show
By Chris Chiarella | Excerpt:

We reprinted's article on the introduction of their 3D TV road show featuring Avatar (above). Here's a report of one of the previews.

Inside the specially designed, perpetually full-capacity demonstration chamber at the Panasonic booth, journalists and civilians alike were treated to one of the most awesome displays of current high-definition 3D video I've ever witnessed. JVC had their own demo up and running (I recall that their U2 concert clip worked well) and Sony was apparently showing off their own version of 3D, but I could never seem to get near the place. Panasonic's demo, however, was truly amazing, offering a series of clips each more impressive than the last.

Yes, we can currently watch a short list of Blu-ray movies in 3D using the HDTVs we already own, with the little cardboard specs included in the box, but the quality is seriously impaired due to limitations in the old anaglyph technology used to deliver this content. The Panasonic system combines high-quality (1080p) digital content with a large, properly calibrated, state-of-the-art plasma display and sophisticated active 3D glasses which fit easily over my own prescription eyewear. No aspect of this particular setup is consumer-available. Yet.

The spiel before the start of the 3D demo (from Executive Vice President of Panasonic Consumer Electronics, Bob Perry) had the same feel as the warmup before a Disneyland thrill ride, but without the bad acting. The source content was stored on (and played back from) a standard Blu-ray Disc. In order to keep the signal to both eyes at full HD 1920x1080 resolution, the primary video stream included information for one eye while the secondary video stream (normally used for BonusView PiP commentary) included the information for the other eye.

A specially modified Blu-ray Disc player was able to simultaneously pass both 1080p streams to a similarly modified 103-inch Plasma HDTV for display of the combined stream alternating each frame at high speed. Special active (battery-powered) polarized glasses blink each shutter in rapid motion alternating left and right to assure that your brain sees the left side information only in the left eye and the right side information in the right eye. The blinking is so quick as not to be noticeable or headache-inducing, even after fairly extended viewing.

Panasonic is working with several manufacturers, studios and the BDA (Blu-ray Disc Association) on the development of a 3D standard for Blu-ray and for display devices. No firm date has been set for its adoption, but the BDA has recently confirmed that discussions on a 3D Blu-ray standard are underway. First up was a promotional reel blending real photography of the Panasonic race car with a computer-generated simulation, I believe. What impressed here was the sense of realism to the vehicle, as if it was right in the room.

Next up was the trailer for James Cameron's upcoming science-fiction opus, Avatar, which by its very nature was enthralling, far more so than the QuickTime version that Big Picture Big Sound Editor Chris Boylan, Roving Reporter Greg Robinson and I recently watched together huddled around a small computer monitor. Most memorable of all was a montage from the Olympics (Panasonic is a longtime sponsor of the games), although while some considered the opening ceremonies to be the highpoint, I preferred the hurdles, with their hard geometric lines working wonders with the next-gen depth-of-field.

But yes, I did catch myself reaching out to try and touch the streamers and confetti apparently floating in midair. Sometimes I'm such a tourist... And you can be one too, as Panasonic will be packing up this 3D show and taking it on the road to a city near you. Yes, 3D fans, the "booth" that we were in was actually inside a huge tractor trailer, which is one of three mobile demos that Panasonic will be taking on the road between now and March 2010.

All of the articles on this page are excerpts, click on the source link for the complete article.

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