×

Streaming emerges as 3D option

CES Daily Spotlight: Future of 3D

Most existing broadcasting and cable infrastructure can’t handle 1080p, much less the two HD signals needed for 3D. But 3D streaming has begun to emerge as an alternative to buying Blu-ray discs or surfing the few 3D specialty channels available through cablers.

“Smart TV is a great enabler for 3D,” says Sensio executive VP and chief marketing officer Richard LaBerge. “It’s not something that will overshadow 3D, it’s something that will move 3D to the next stage.”

Sensio is betting big on 3D streaming. Last week it announced its own 3DGO! 3D streaming service for Web-connected TVs, set to bow within months (Variety, Jan. 5). TV makers including Sony and Vizio bake 3D streaming directly into their flatscreens. Meanwhile, tech companies including Iogear and HP are coming out with boxes capable of streaming high-bandwidth 3D content.

Available since last spring, Sony’s free 3D Experience service supplies more than 100 different 3D clips, trailers and music videos designed to break down barriers to 3D adoption, says Nick Colsey, VP business planning for Sony’s Home Entertainment of America.

“Customers can immediately enjoy great 3D content without having to buy additional equipment or media. They just need a broadband connection,” Colsey says.

Providers are still sorting out quality and tech requirements for 3D streaming. Sensio claims their 3DGO! service will use lossless compression and require only a 2 Mbps broadband connection for full 1080p on both eyes. Walmart’s Vudu is using side-by-side encoding and Vudu recommends a fast broadband connection, at least 9 Mbps for 3D.

Sony’s Video Unlimited streaming service rents more than 50 3D movies and TV shows, ranging from kids fare such as “Bolt” and “Cars 2” to racier stuff like “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2011: The 3D Experience.”

Other vendors are seeing the benefits of offering 3D streaming. Last November, Iogear started selling its Wireless 3D Digital Kit at Costco.com, with plans to roll it out to other retailers this year. This kit lets users wirelessly stream 3D content from any 3D source, be it Blu-ray, broadcast or set-top box.

“We are seeing more and more Tier-1 level competitors coming out with this type of solution, which is confirmation to us that this is a viable market,” says Iogear senior marketing manager Bill Nguyen. “We expect to see big money tied to devices like ours that will stream HD and 3D content from room to room.”

Netflix has been hinting at a 3D streaming service for months but hasn’t announced anything. A Netflix rep says the company wouldn’t comment on 3D at this juncture.

But the shift to HD 3D streaming comes when broadband providers are ending unlimited plans in favor of capped or metered plans. 3D streaming is a bandwidth hog, so streaming 3D movies can eat up a monthly cap very quickly. But Sensio says a 3D movie on its service will be only about 2 Gb, which should make 3D streaming feasible even under capped plans.

CES Daily Spotlight: The Future of 3D
Falling prices may unlock 3D | 3D TV’s evolution has barely begun | Fans finally warm to stereo vidgaming | Streaming emerges as 3D option | Lightfield capture heralds new camera era

More Digital

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    SAG-AFTRA Ends Long Strike Against Ad Agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty

    SAG-AFTRA has ended its 10-month strike against Bartle Bogle Hegarty after the advertising agency agreed to sign the union’s new commercials contract. The union instructed its 160,000 members in September not to accept any work for BBH, which had been signed to SAG-AFTRA’s commercials contracts since 1999. The strike came two weeks after BBH publicly [...]

  • FaceApp is displayed on an iPhone,

    SAG-AFTRA Warns Members About FaceApp Terms of Use

    SAG-AFTRA is warning its 160,000 members about the “overreaching and invasive” terms of use for the FaceApp mobile application. FaceApp, developed by Russian company Wireless Lab, uses neural network technology to automatically generate transformations of faces in photographs. The app can be used to make users appear older, younger, or change gender. The terms include [...]

  • J. Cole

    Apple Music Launches 'Rap Life' Playlist

    Apple Music announced the launch of “Rap Life,” a new global playlist focusing on contemporary rap artists and culture. It replaces the former “The A-List: Hip-Hop” playlist. Said Ebro Darden, Apple Music’s Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B: “We flipped it to dig deeper into into the lifestyle [and to] keep pushing the culture [...]

  • Billie Eilish

    ARRI, Mobile TV Group Back New Venture Revitalizing Streamed Concerts

    A new venture looking to bring a fresh approach to live-streaming concerts has gotten the backing of hardware heavyweights ARRI and Mobile TV Group. Wide+Close is launching with the mandate of shooting music performances with film cameras and cinematographers in order to give the content a more cinematic feel. “We want to take concert filming [...]

  • Fortnite Battle Royale

    How 'Fortnite' Fans Can Earn Loot by Watching YouTube Videos

    Epic Games and YouTube have teamed up with a special offer for “Fortnite” players — giving players of the popular battle-royale game rewards when they watch “Fortnite”-premiered content on the video platform. The catch: You have to watch at least 20 minutes of “Fortnite” special content or live esports broadcasts to receive the loot. Under [...]

  • Roku headquarters

    Roku Plans to Expand to Brazil, Other Countries (EXCLUSIVE)

    Roku plans to expand to multiple new territories in the coming months, Variety has learned. One of the first new markets for the company will likely be Brazil. An international expansion could help Roku grow its customer base, which in turn should lead to growing advertising revenues. Roku executives have been hinting at plans to [...]

  • Google Stadia Pro to Include 1

    Google’s Stadia Game Streaming Service to Include Free Monthly Game

    Google has been busy sharing additional details about its upcoming game streaming service Stadia, clearing up some confusion in the process. Stadia’s pro subscription tier, which will cost $10 per month, won’t be a Netflix-type subscription service. However, subscribers will get free games at the rate of about a title per month. That’s according to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content