James Cameron: Glasses-free 3D TV in "eight to ten years"
"3D is here, and it's here to stay", said James Cameron to an amassed throng of journalists and Blu-ray industry experts around the globe. "That's been pretty resoundingly demonstrated over the last couple of years. This is not a flirtation".
However, he was also keen to stress that we won't have the full 3D experience in the home until manufacturers ditch the glasses for spec-free autostereoscopic displays.
The director of Avatar, Terminator and Aliens was addressing the worldwide audience via a live satellite link from Blu-Con 2010 - an annual event organised by the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG).
It's an organisation that helps promote and decide on major motion picture studios' home entertainment strategies for now and going forward, and Pocket-lint was in the offices of Walt Disney & Co in West London with the European arm of the association, the DEGE, to hear Cameron's thoughts.
Clearly and famously an evangelist of Blu-ray and 3D - after all, the 2D version of Avatar is the highest selling disc in the format's short history so far - Cameron is extremely enthusiastic about the mass adoption of 3D technology in the home, but, ironically, doesn't believe that movies, his included, will be the major driving force: "The amount of content that we have as 3D movies is not going to drive home video as much as the conversion to live broadcasts and episodic [3D TV], and things like that".
"You have all these broadcasters like Direct, BSkyB and people like that, who are actively getting into 3D. And some of the other networks are looking at it".
"It's a bit like the HD launch. HD is now pretty ubiquitous. And 3D is going to be exactly the same".
"We can't make the Avatar movies fast enough to do more than we've already done to drive 3D, so I think it's going to come from sports. It's going to come from music. It's going to come from comedy. I haven't seen anything yet that didn't benefit from 3D. I mean, I watched the Masters tournament - golf in 3D. And I hate golf. I'd never watch golf in a million years, but I was, like, watching that because it was in 3D. It was really cool".
Cameron firmly believes that over the next 5 years the amount of content will increase rapidly: "All of a sudden, we've got these great sets, we can watch [3D] in the home, but we don't have the content".
"One of the biggest limitations is that we don't have enough cameras and we don't have enough people to do it. Once we get past that start-up torque, then I think the curve is going to go practically vertical. And over the next 5 years, we're going to see it go rolling into the home in a really resounding way".
However, the final push will be an improvement in the display technology itself - something he is confident will happen: "And once we get past the last threshold, which will be autostereoscopic display - meaning without glasses - then it is going to be the way we watch all of our media, both in the movie theatre and in the home. But that's probably 8 to 10 years out".
Certainly with James Cameron committing to two new 3D Avatar films, and the revenue they will generate, his word carries some weight in all the right circles.
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