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Sci Tech    H4'ed 5/1/10

Is 2010 the Year 3D Movies Take Off?

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Message Lee Pringle
Watching a movie at the cinema is quite a strange experience when you think about it. The image is after all only 2D, yet the real world is 3D. The addition of the third dimension was an upgrade we humans made millions of years ago, and cinema is only just starting to catch up now. Hollywood's latest big-budget release Avatar has given the movie-going public a taste of what 3D is capable of and has promised us for so long. Could this be the best thing for cinema since the introduction of Talkies?

James Cameron, the director of the movie Avatar, has long been a supporter of 3D, and hopes his new release will be the big push the studios need to start making all their movies in 3D. It did after all break Box Office records, at the very least demonstrating the potential financial benefits of 3D moviemaking. Avatar is among many recent 3D releases, with the Toy Story back catalogue being recently re-released in 3D and a multitude of new releases scheduled this year. Anyone who seen a movie in 3D will quickly realize the benefits. There's nothing more exciting than having to duck your head to avoid an unfortunate character's kidney flying towards you or the rush you get during a high-speed, 3D car chase. Although the public is flocking to see it, the success of 3D cinema will ultimately be down to the studios, who must decide if the technology is worth investing in.

3D doesn't have to stay in the cinema either. At the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show, the showcase for the latest technology, many of the major TV manufacturers demonstrated their own 3D compatible products, with what will be called "3D Ready" TVs available sometime later this year. These TVs will still require users to wear polarizing glasses, but there are some prototype TVs which use lenticular technology which can be viewed without glasses. This technology is currently in its early stages and is too expensive to mass-produce at the moment but is certainly going to become the preferred technology.

It was also recently announced that 3D movies will be available on Blu-Ray, with Disney's "A Christmas Carol" and DreamWorks "Monsters Vs Aliens" being among the first to be released in 3D. In addition to this, Sony has announced that they will make their flagship console, the Playstation 3 3D Blu-Ray compatible via a firmware update.

Getting that gorgeous 3D picture on your new 3D TV should be made easier for Sky customers this year, with Sky reportedly launching a 3D channel after successful technical trials. Others, such as Virgin Media will undoubtedly follow suit assuming it's successful. So, could 2010 be the year 3D finally takes off?

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Having recently started writing again, I'd like to eventually write a book. I enjoy reading and writing about all sorts of subjects. I enjoy fixing things, I play guitar and write my own songs.
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