Technicolor also involved in S3D consumer pact

In the latest of a series of moves by major Hollywood companies to promote 3D in the home, Samsung, Technicolor and DreamWorks Animation have announced a strategic alliance to speed consumer adoption of 3D televisions and Blu-ray players.

As part of the pact, DWA is bundling the 3D Blu-ray version of “Monsters vs. Aliens” with Samsung components. DWA says the “Monsters” disc is the first-ever 3D Blu-ray.

DWA topper Jeffrey Katzenberg told Daily Variety, “The 3D version is being offered exclusively as a bundle with the new Samsung 3D monitors. It’s not for sale.”

Samsung, for its part, is unveiling today at the Consumer Electronics Show a new line of 3D televisions and Blu-ray players. Samsung’s 3D-ready TVs will include a built-in chip to convert any program to 3D. Consumers can turn the feature on or off as they prefer.

Samsung recently also announced a pact with RealD for homevideo technology.

Consumers buying Samsung 3D-ready equipment will also get exclusive streams of 3D trailers for “Monsters vs. Aliens” and upcoming DreamWorks titles including “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Shrek Forever After.”

Tim Baxter, prexy of Samsung Consumer Electronics America, said, “In the U.S., we believe 35 million TVs will be sold in 2010, and 3D TVs will be around 10% of that. That’s 3 million-4 million 3D TVs in the marketplace.”

Technicolor’s role in the pact is 3D authoring and mastering for Blu-ray discs.

“We’re looking more downstream and upstream than our traditional service areas,” said Ahmad Ouri, chief marketing officer for Technicolor. “Downstream, we’ve done a lot with 3D in terms of post-production. However, just like our partners Samsung and DreamWorks, we believe 3D will be in the home.” DWA’s collaboration with Samsung extended to Katzenberg and the company’s experts evaluating Samsung’s new equipment. Katzenberg flew to Korea to see the units before agreeing to the pact.

Despite the rush to promote home 3D, Katzenberg rejected the conventional wisdom that 3D homevideo revenue is essential to support 3D movies.

“The major releases in 3D this year made back their incremental investment of making them in 3D in the theatrical window,” said Katzenberg. “We’re not dependent upon, and are not looking for, the homevideo window to help pay for that.”

Katzenberg said his studio made its decision to go 3D without planning for extra homevideo coin from the format. “Anything else that happens is added gravy. This is a new opportunity we never anticipated.”

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