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Blog Comments - 3D a proven failure, 4K unlikely to succeed - HBO

Andrew Reid

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of course the majority cannot afford new generation electronics, so it's easier to dismiss it with the same theory as when overpriced Plasma's first came out or HDTV.  when it's affordable it becomes the standard...not ''it's irrelevant, or you can't see the difference.''  ask anybody in pro media if you can see a difference in workflow between Apple's Macbook Retina displays vs. Macbooks from 3 years ago.


the biggest irony is when people suggest ''you can't see a difference'' and dismiss the ever growing nano tech in all forms of electronics.  personal choice, from whatever standard that may be, shouldn't be mixed with the way electronics are heading.  you'd think pro's would acknowledge that and take advantage.  kind of like the intro of open source app markets.  anyhow, looks like the BBC has some initiatives for themselves with Ultra HD if I'm not mistaken

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Saw The Croods in RealD 3D, AMC ETX in Burbank: Sony 4K and Dolby Atmos 3D sound. The screen was as big as the last IMAX screen I viewed (huge). We sat towards the back on the upper balcony- image was tack sharp. 3D visuals were perfect and 3D audio was very cool. When this quality is available in the home, folks will buy it. Current 3D and HD TVs cannot provide this kind of experience (major issues with 3D at home are low resolution or ghosting). Conversely, saw the Life of Pi in 3D at the Dome Arclight in Hollywood with shutterglasses- clunky, heavy, uncomfortable 3D glasses, ghosting, not a good 3D experience. The movie was great however I can see why folks don't like 3D if that's all they have seen (low quality 3D systems).


I have worked with 3D for a long time- my company created some fo the first 3D games for PCs (including kicking off hardware accelerated 3D by porting Quake to 3D in 1998 for H3D). Have seen 3D come and go; it's not going anywhere this time around: it will slowly get better in the home. No pundit or hater proclamations will make it go away. RealD 3D rocks- check it out before writing off 3D. 4K will be a small market for a while but makes sense for large screens.


Clearly, 3D is not a proven failure: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lzrmx6HhtyQ


If you don't get it, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuOvqeABHvQ


If you don't get that, you're not doing enough acid*




*ascorbic acid. What did you think I meant?

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haha I'm a fan of Don Hertzfeldt's animation... Brilliant. I'm trying to get an interview with him as his film's recently joined Vimeo On Demand. If you haven't seen it yet... Do!



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First watched Hertzfeldt's work (Rejected) in San Diego at Spike & Mike's Sick & Twisted Animation Festival in La Jolla. My sister "rejected" Rejected as appropriate for her kids to watch. I showed it to them them anyway- they loved it. I still crack up remembering what she said, "Seriously John. 'My anus is bleeding'. That's one of the worst things I have seen in my life. I want my 10 minutes back". Yeah, she watched the whole thing, lol.


Regarding Vimeo and PPV for indie content- great idea: needs to be on living room devices and iOS/mobile, the same as Netflix, and a means to quickly surface the good content and hide the bad stuff. The problem with most content (including studio content) is it sucks (as others have pointed out). Good content, if it can be surfaced, will always sell.

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10 years? Once Avatar II and III hit theatres the media industry will go into a 3D frenzy again, especially if James Cameron tops Avatar's current box office record.


Expect the same for 4K if Apple releases RETINA TELEVISION, - high dpi tv seems the only logical way to go from here. So perhaps a few years from now on we will still be exporting 1080p for distribution, except it will be a high-resolution 1080p stream that will require a 4K acquisition format.


If Apple makes high dpi video a sexy new trend for consumers then expect to switch to 4K sooner rather than later...

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parralax barrier 3D (as used in the 3DS) and ultra high resolution actually only work for most consumers (aside from in cinemas) with handheld devices


these are a growth area in moving-image consumption: 


All companies, so far, have focused their high-resolution or 3D efforts in stagnant areas of consumption, where consumer habits have not only formed, but have also crystalised and arguably become tradition.


Hand-held habits are still being developed.


Thus, if 4K and 3D have any future, it in handheld, from the point of view of my analysis.


Personally, I find neither 3D or 4K to be particularly attractive prospect nor a necessity, but from the point of view of the broader market and future investment in product development (for alteration of content-consumption practices and thus driving of new-sales based growth), that's where I'd focus my development time, were I involved in such a technology firm as develops such products.


This leaves Apple the prime candidate for actually increasing adoption, as simply making a product thinner and lighter or making small incremental updates can only ever be a stopgap revenue protection measure, since it reduces new-consumer uptake as well as negatively impacting brand loyalty and reputation (somewhat mercurial factors, but important ones).


It also means companies with less to lose, such as Nokia, are more likely to try it, in order to grasp the aforementioned wavering consumers.


Canon, for example, have been in a particularly stubborn protection mode, evidenced by the 550D to 700D to 100D re-using sensor debacle, as well low level of features VS cost to consumer when compared to competitors in both their video and SLR sectors.


In order to maintain brand strength and loyalty (that is to say emotional as well as income capital) this kind of "protection period" must be offset by an attractive step up afterwards  (3D, higher resolution, higher bitrate) but before too much damage is done to the brand identity. This feature must be well positioned to not damage future growth, sales of other units, or destabilise overall market position, but also to be innovative enough to encourage upgrade and new adoption. 


It must also not be a gimmick that consumers do not really want, or too small a niche feature (if part of a main line in a large company).


This puts such a feature into the category of high risk because it's hard to determine what the broad market wants, since reactions to recent "innovations" like 3D and 4K have been rather cold, in part dues to the reduction of consumer spending power due to high taxes and poor economy in general. Also, for large companies with many products, putting in features that many niche groups want (RAW capture, cheaper high-capacity memory in iPhones) could damage the market position of other brand products.


As a result, we see little movement across the board. Something of a slump in innovation.


By that analysis though, Canon or Apple must produce something of a jump for their next SLR, video camera or phone, or risk severely impacting brand capital and losing market share and share price at an accelerating rate.


That "jump" is an inherent risk that, if not taken, will inevitably result in loss, but could result in a bigger one. In other words, if they don't move, they start to lose (until Christmas bouys them for a bit) if they do, there's a chance of a big win, or a bigger loss than if doing very little.


In the current climate, most are opting for a small loss, rather than risking a big loss while also chancing a big win.


Like all economic models, mine used above is somewhat full of assumptions, but it does function anecdotally and against other evidence, and goes some way to explaining the actions of companies whose biggest asset is indeed their brand. 

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