3D is Making a Comeback

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Drew Rattray
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3D is Making a Comeback

3d-glasses.jpgIt's been over 50 years since the Golden Era of 3D in theaters that began in 1952 with the release of Bwana Devil, the first stereoscopic feature film. Since then the 3D industry has had a few revivals and lulls, and has been carried along as a novelty in IMAX theaters... but now it seems it may see a permanent place in the entertainment world, and soon our own homes.

On January 8th, college football fans will be able to view the 2009 FedEx BCS National Championship in 3D in select theaters. It will be the first time a sports show has been filmed in 3D.  The NBA All-Star Saturday Night will also be offered in 3D on February 14th.

Following the success of 3D versions of kid films over the past year,  four leading studios will be backing the conversion of 10,000 screens to digital, making 3D movie offerings more of a staple in the film industry.  With large HD televisions steadily dropping in price, and Blu-ray seeming to do well this holiday season, film studios are looking for anything to coax viewers out of their home and back into the theaters.

Regarding home use of 3D, European satelite TV provider Sky tested a new 3D television service in London on December 18th.  The 3D television service is said to be available through existing HD infrastructure next year and not require the purchase of new set-top boxes (you will need 3D glasses though).

minoru_3d_webcam.jpgWe've also now seen the introduction of the world's first 3D webcam by Minoru. The webcam plugs in by USB and uses 2 cameras spaced approximately the same distance apart as human eyes.  As it films, it adjusts the blue and red levels to obtain the effect.  You need 3D glasses to view the effect, but not to worry the unit comes with 5 pairs.  The Minoru 3D Webcam is currently available at Firebox for $73.

I myself have never really considered 3D as a "must have" in my life. However, one of my most memorable theater experiences as a child was watching Michael Jackson (before he got strange...r) in the 3D feature of Captain EO at the Epcot Center way back in 1987, and I would like nothing more than to have that kind of experience every time I go to a movie or turn on my television.  Good luck 3D, hopefully you stick around this time.



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