We caught up with Sony's 'Mr 3D', Tim Page – senior manager, Technology Marketing of Sony Europe – at CES last week, and quizzed him about Sony's plans for 3D TV. Here's what he had to say:
1. What do you think will be the biggest content types to drive 3D TV for Sony?
Movies, sports and gaming are the biggest 3D TV drivers for Sony.
2. How are you going to tackle any phobias people may have about wearing 3D glasses?
Sony does not believe there will be any phobias expressed by consumers regarding the wearing of the 3D glasses. We need the glasses to enjoy 3D content, and even those who wear reading glasses can easily place the 3D glasses over the top with no discomfort.
3. When will the PS3 3D firmware upgrade happen?
There are no details on this currently available.
4. ESPN and Discovery have announced 3D channels with Sony - when are they due in the UK and how fast do you think they will become the norm, compared to the penetration of HD programming?
They are planned to launch around the globe in June – and Sky will launch in late summer/early autumn with a 3D channel, with more 3D channels from Sky to follow shortly after. Sony anticipates that the take up on 3D will be more rapid than HD programming as the level of consumer excitement and buzz around the topic has been so huge.
5. How important is 3D at the cinema for convincing people about 3D in the home?
It's vital. They may be two very different forms of entertainment in terms of motivations and social interaction, but the 3D cinema movies have still been instrumental in showing consumers just how heightened their viewing experience can be when it's in 3D.
They've made what was not so long ago thought of as an out-of-reach technology now very accessible, which is reflected in the real air of excitement around 3D TV now coming to the home.
6. The big 3D story at the moment is Avatar – what's the next big 3D film?
Alice in Wonderland will undoubtedly be huge, especially with a name like Tim Burton behind it.
7. Can you shed some light on your plans for the World Cup 3D footage. Where will this be aired and what type of Blu-ray Disc edition can we expect?
The 3D footage will be aired in seven cities around the world (Berlin, London, Mexico City, Paris, Rio De Janeiro, Rome, and Sydney) – but details of exact locations are not yet confirmed. Sony is filming 25 World Cup games in 3D. We'll have more details shortly on the Blu-ray discs, now that the 3D specification has now been finalised by the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA).
8. Sony is pushing 3D hard and with the PS3 has the games machine to back it too – what else does Sony bring to the table above its rivals?
Sony brings movie studio content to the table, as well as 3D professional broadcast filming equipment.
9. The Hendrix 3D footage looks amazing – do you know how many live concerts are being recorded in 3D in 2010?
Sony can't say exactly how many concerts will be recorded in 3D in 2010 as not all will be recorded using Sony equipment. However, we do anticipate that more and more will be filmed in 3D as time goes on.
The U2:3D concert shown at IMAX was filmed using Sony equipment and was highly acclaimed, and so building on the success of this will certainly grow this genre of music.
10. If you could tell us something unknown, secret or surprising about 3D TV that you think our readers should know about, what would it be?
The 3D OLED prototype Sony unveiled at CES is certainly exciting and surprising.