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Get ready couch potatoes — 3D poised to reinvent TV

By June 11, 2010Newswires

Get ready couch potatoes — 3D poised to reinvent TV

By Cassandra Szklarski

TORONTO — Put on those specs, couch potatoes — 3D is poised to revolutionize TV, say industry players who will be touting the technology at the Banff World Television Festival this weekend.

The advent of 3D TV will be a key focus of the annual industry conference, where heavyweights including Brit comic Ricky Gervais, reality show titan Nigel Lythgoe, and Canadian icon William Shatner will share their thoughts on the future of the small screen.

The four-day festival kicks off Sunday with a session outlining the nuts-and-bolts of 3D production in the wake of “Avatar”‘s stunning success at the box office and a flood of 3D television sets entering the market.

“It’s a really important piece of the puzzle and it’s 2010’s hot-button topic,” says festival director Peter Vamos.

“The theory of make it grander, make it bigger and that you can fight the piracy that way is part of the conversation but it’s also really cool, interesting technology…. From the standpoint of just viewing and enjoying something, it can be quite a spectacle.”

Broadcasters, show creators and service providers are scrambling to be among the first to offer eye-popping sports and event programming, says 3D guru James Stewart, who will lead Sunday’s session.

He says he’s been speaking with all of Canada’s main TV networks eager to know what it would take to produce never-before-seen effects.

“The acceleration of all this is unbelievable,” says Stewart, president of the Toronto-based Geneva Film Co., which mainly creates 3D ads for theatrical release.

“Literally six months ago, 3D TV was two years away. Now it’s two weeks away. It’s been incredible. There are movies being shot in 3D, we’re certainly doing a lot of commercial work, music videos. We did a concert with Kylie Minogue at the Air Canada Centre, there’s discussions with the networks about sports.”

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