03.04.2010 04:15 PM
Sony, CBS Open 3D Research Center

LAS VEGAS
Sony and CBS have joined forces on a 3DTV research center, the pair said this week. This new “Sony 3D Experience” will be located within the expanded CBS Television City research facility at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Beverly Hills, Calif.-based RealD is providing its 3D filters and eyewear.

“This new extension of our research facility in Las Vegas was designed to provide visitors with hands-on access to the most cutting-edge home entertainment technology available and while doing so, offer content and technology providers continuous user-feedback and research,” said David Poltrack, chief research officer and president of CBS Vision.

The collaboration is significant in that CBS hasn’t been aggressive about 3D, particularly compared to Fox, for example, with its forays with sporting events starting in 2008. CBS dipped its toe into 3DTV last month when it did the Michael Jackson tribute during the Grammys in anaglyph 3D. (See “Grammys Get Big Numbers”) The other notable 3D initiative at CBS Corp. is from within the signage division, CBS Outdoor, which unveiled a 3D HD billboard in New York’s Grand Central Station last month.

The research center in Vegas has areas dedicated to 3D theater and 3D in the home. The home zone comprises 3d-capable HDTVs, Sony’s PlayStation3 systems, and it’s recently announced 3D Blu-ray players. (See “Sony Unveils $200 3D Blu-ray Player”) The center will also provide information about the upcoming launch of the 3D channels from ESPN and Discovery.

“3D is a reality, as shown by the success of 3D movies and alternative programming like live events and sports, and we expect more 3D content and delivery options to emerge,” said Mike Fasulo, Sony Electronics’ executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

CBS Television City at MGM Grand is described as a “well-established research facility that incorporates traditional qualitative and quantitative methods like focus groups and surveys, as well as advanced bio-metric techniques such as eye-tracking and brain scanning using NeuroFocus technology, in a transparent research environment.”

More than 1.1 million people visit the center each year, according to Sony and CBS, “representing a geographic, demographic and psychographic cross-section of the U.S. consumer population.”

The Sony 3D Experience is the second such project for the company in the Western U.S. The company also has a new 3D Technology Center on the Sony Pictures Entertainment lot in Culver City, Calif., targeting entertainment industry professionals regarding the techniques and equipment for 3D production and content creation.

-- Deborah D. McAdams


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