During the past 6 months 3D video has become one of the biggest talking points in technology. This is no doubt largely due to the success of Avatar, currently the highest grossing movie of all time. But as far as 3D is concerned, it’s not exactly new technology, it has been offered many times before. The problem is that the technology hasn’t been mainstream enough to be successful, until now, thanks to Hollywood blockbusters such as Avatar and now Alice in Wonderland, 3D technology is becoming more prominent on TV,computer screens and in cinemas throughout the world.
So what gives this latest leap of faith into 3D technology the platform to succeed compared to previous efforts (especially when essentially, 3D technology hasn’t changed much)? Well, this time around filmmakers and studios are openly supporting it with the aim of bringing true 3D experiences into everyday viewing habits. In the past 3D movies were readily available (even on the old VHS tapes), so this kind of offering is nothing ground breaking, however, with modern technology and HD capabilities, the push is now being made for something beyond what we’ve been offered in the past.
Pretty much every TV manufacturer around is jumping on the bandwagon of having a 3D model set for release sometime this year. To accompany this, broadcasters are introducing their own 3D channels and services as well as offering huge events like the World Cup and the 2012 Olympics in 3D. Okay, there is still not nearly enough content available to know whether 3D video will succeed in the near future, but the kind of support it’s gaining now from both the public and industry – will help pave the way for 3D viewing as a successful long term medium.
What affect will all this have on online video?
Well thankfully, if 3D video does eventually become widely accepted as anticipated, then we’re just as likely to see 3D technology move its way into online video. With all the technological advances and increased interest with streaming video over the past few years, we can be sure that this scenario will only further drive that growth.
YouTube have already experimented with different methods and user controls for presenting their 3D content, although, this is not surprising as YouTube are always quick to jump onto viewing trends. 3D displays are also already becoming readily available, although for the moment these are being designed with video games in mind, which is more likely to be a success as far as 3D is concerned, but for the short term.
The problem lies with 3D technology in general and the fact that it is still far from practical. Still today, available content is minimal, the expense is currently far too high for everyday consumers and those silly glasses are STILL required. The best place for 3D currently remains at the theatre, but at least now some realistic progress has been made towards bringing it into our living rooms and eventually, into our online video viewing.