Cameron's Avatar to force home cinema upgrades
James Cameron and his latest film Avatar are embarking on a deal with Panasonic to try and push 3D televisions and Blu-ray players into the home through the release of the film as the first true stereoscopic 3D Blu-ray disc.
There's already a truck tour planned with a huge 103 inch high definition television to show the film and try and sell the Panasonic 3D television to home audiences, as well as the upcoming Blu-ray stereoscopic 3D disc system.
What bothers me is that people are in the process of upgrading to high definition television and Blu-ray as we write/read, and by no means has it covered the entire population as yet. There are still a lot of homes to reach and a lot of families to pay for the new equipment, equipment which is already rather costly.
There's also the cost of the new Blu-ray specifications for 3D, something that we're not yet sure will require hardware upgrades or not. Judging by the software updates for the PlayStation 3 Blu-ray player to date I would hope they wouldn't need a hardware upgrade, but you can't be sure.
The article from Variety tells us that Panasonic hope to have the television technology released in time for Avatar on Blu-ray, and I would hope that Blu-ray is ready too, but is the consumer?
I don't think they are. This new “Full HD 3D” as it's being called would need a huge screen to fill your vision, otherwise you'll be looking at a framed area of 3D in an otherwise normal looking room. Sitting there with your big glasses on and watching a small space in front of you with 3D.
Try sitting in front of your television and imagining the pictures coming out in 3D. I feel it would work just fine sitting in front of your computer monitor which is much closer and taking up more of your eyeline, but a forty inch television screen some eight plus feet away? It's hardly going to pull you right into the experience as I was watching the Avatar footage in 3D on an IMAX screen.
Of course it will happen, but I'm not so sure they've gauged the consumer appetite for the upgrade, or the idea that 3D will saturate the home market as well as they think.
What would be your appetite for buying the new Panasonic Plasma 3D screen with a possible new Blu-ray player to go alongside the Blu-ray release of Avatar?