The Success of Avatar Is Milestone for 3D

Carl Weinschenk

The success of Avatar 3D may accelerate the move to 3D home entertainment. This is an important issue for service providers and carriers. For them, 3D means great increases in the bandwidth they would be called on to provide. That, and the presumed popularity of the programming, would create a domino effect impacting how networks are built and other applications and services are provisioned and marketed.


BusinessWeek does its usual thorough job of describing where 3D is. Widespread home 3D still is a few years away. It is expensive and requires fundamental changes, such as new televisions and heavier internal cabling. The story says, however, that the television set and related industries did a good job of putting standards in place. It took only 18 months, and culminated in December. The closest comparison was the interminable process of creating standards for high-definition television, which lasted from 2002 to 2008.


The thinking now is that Avatar 3D may be a catalyst that both whets the public's appetite and shows the television/Blu-ray/programming network/service provider ecosystem that there indeed is a market for the ambitious new programming form. It is important to keep in mind that businesses also will use 3D for sales, training, customer service and other purposes.


Though it wasn't too long ago, the difference between the days when HDTV was trying to establish itself -- both technically and with the public-and today is great. Consumers today expect intense and innovative services to come along on a regular basis. The chain of companies and organizations that are creating the home 3D industry also is more adept at handling new things, which is evident in the fast movement on 3D standards.


The acceptance of 3D already has started. Besides at least a couple of movies -- Up, a digital 3D Disney/Pixar film, also was released this year -- DirecTV will announce a 3D channel at The 2010 Consumer Electronics Show in two weeks in Las Vegas. iHologram, a 3D iPhone app, was just released. The point is that modern 3D-as opposed to the flimsy (but fun) paper glasses age of 3D -- will be common very shortly. The jump into the living room, with its huge network requirements, will be a natural evolution.

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