Almost a year ago Panasonic hosted a large press event to tell the press how great was 3DTV and how the 2012 London’s Olympics would be it’s “Avatar”. Now that the Olympics are done, I see no parallels at all!
The event was held one night during the IBC 2011 (International Broadcasting Convention) in Amsterdam and the Panasonic folks were not measuring their words: “The 2012 Olympics will be the watershed event for 3DTV similar to what “Avatar” has been for theater”.
With a few hundred hours of 3D production why did it missed? Why did it draw so little attention?
I don’t pretend to be able to explain that all by myself but I can offer some thoughts:
- Production value: The number of available views and their positioning were far inferior to those of 2D. A large number of 3D camera were small single camera with fixed “inter-ocular” distance that produce lesser quality 3D. Team on 3D production seem to lack experience and the result were inconsistent.
- Distribution: 3DTV signal were not as widely available as 2D and in some regions available only the next day.
- Advertising: While Panasonic made a big deal of it last year at IBC, there was little public advertising campaign to make people aware of the broadcast and how it would be fabulous to watch it.
If you want to make a compelling case for people to spend more and to wear glasses during a broadcast, the experience have to be substantially better… you have to deliver more not less.
When paying a few extra bucks and putting glasses to watch “Avatar” in theater, what you did experience was better. There was nothing less in the 3D version of “Avatar” in relation with the 2D one.
For the Olympics, the 3D broadcast had some enhancements compare to the 3D, you can feel more part of it, more emerge, but you had a lot less. Less choice of broadcast, less timely broadcast, less camera angles and not the best production teams.
In 3D you had to compromise. It was not a better overall experience. I would guess that most people that went out of their way to watch it in 3D despite the shortfalls were those already sold on 3D, I don’t think that it did gain much new fan at all if any.
We will need to find something better and we will still have to wait for the “watershed” event for some more time.