3DTV Goes on the Road

OSAKA: The 3D video movement is getting a major push from blue aliens under the creative direction of James Cameron, world-conquering director of “Titanic.” Cameron teamed up with Panasonic to promote his upcoming film, “Avatar,” in which an Earth-based military unit is dispatched to a mining operation on the planet Pandora, where the 10-foot tall blue inhabitants are less than welcoming. A 16-minute teaser of the film, scheduled for a December release, was screened at iMax theaters around the country on Friday and at Apple.com, where it generated 4 million views--the largest-ever debut on that Web site. “Avatar” followers lined up outside of Los Angeles theaters for the trailer, The Los Angeles Times said. The trailer appeared on 342 screens in 58 counties.

Panasonic said it contributed AV tech to the making of the film and is continuing to hype the Dec. 18 release with supporting consumer technology. Hence, an alliance with Twentieth Century Fox, Lightstorm Entertainment and Cameron himself. The agreement calls for Panasonic to tie the film in with a global ad campaign for its 3DTVs that includes a worldwide road show.

Panasonic said it would “activate” the “Avatar” deal in the United States with a multipoint media/sales campaign and a nationwide tour with customized 18-wheelers outfitted with 103-inch Panasonic Viera plasma HDTVs and Blu-ray disc players to showcase 3DTV. Three such mobile units will be deployed across Europe in the fall. In Japan, a Viera TV campaign will start in the fall.

Cameron mapped some scenes of the feature with Panasonic AJ-HPX3000G P2HD camcorders, and used Panasonic’s 65- and 103-inch plasma display monitors in the production studio and the editing room. Panasonic executive Toshiro Sakamoto said the collaboration represented the largest promotional effort on behalf of a single film.
-- Deborah D. McAdams

More coverage of 3DTV from TVB:
July 30, 2009: “3DTV Launch Set for 2010”
BSkyB now plans to launch its 3D channel next year according to British sources. The satellite TV provider successfully delivered 3D content over its hi-def infrastructure earlier this year.

July 22, 2009: “Industry Forging Ahead with 3D Amid Questions”
“Some members fear de facto, non-open standards, for first-generation broadcast 3DTV will result from the technology decisions made by first providers. These are likely to be pay-TV operators, keen to differentiate their platform and consumer proposition. Technology decisions made by these players may not suit the current or future needs of free-to-air broadcasters.”

April 6, 2009: “Live 3DTV Debuts in United Kingdom”
BSkyB successfully transmitted live 3DTV across it’s systems in the United Kingdom. The satellite TV provider telecast a live transmission of a performance by the band Keane from London’s

Abbey Road

studios Thursday, April 2.

March 9, 2009: “More 3DTV Developments
BSkyB continues plowing toward 3DTV, with a goal to offer it by the end of the year. Digital Spyreports that the chief Sky engineer said recently the plan was still on track to transmit 3D video content via the system’s existing HD infrastructure and set-top boxes.

More coverage of “Avatar” from across the Web:
“Everything We Know about James Cameron’s Avatar” from Slashfilm
“The 3D Camera Technology Behind James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’” from YouTube
“‘Avatar Hype Continues as Trailer Breaks Apple.com Record,” from MTV.com