According to a poll carried out among visitors at the BVE exhibition by test and measurement specialist, Hamlet - 50% of people expect to work in a stereoscopic 3D production in the coming year. A further 14% had already worked in 3D. And almost two-thirds of visitors said that finding out about 3D equipment and production techniques was the main reason or an important part of their visit.
Conference sessions and product demonstrations at the event, held at London's Earls Court, reflected the rapidly growing interest in 3D, both for cinema and now for broadcast. The convention immediately followed the first broadcasts from Sky's new 3D channel.
While there is well-founded excitement about the prospects for 3D movies, those surveyed were less certain about the prospects of 3D to the home. 30% felt that technology fans would be interested but it would not find a mass market, and just a quarter thought that there definitely would be an audience.
"Stereoscopic 3D is the real hot topic of the moment, but we are all finding our way in this new medium," said Steve Nunney, director of Hamlet which ran the survey. "What is clear is that it will call for investment in new technology – 84% of the survey recognised that 3D needs new and specialised equipment – and that quality control will be an absolutely critical part of getting 3D right.
"I am grateful to all those who took part in this study, which will help the whole industry understand the way ahead," Nunney continued. "I am looking forward to working with all those working on 3D productions to develop the most appropriate test and measurement solutions to guarantee excellence."
The survey was carried out amongst the broad range of visitors to the Broadcast Video Expo event in London, including broadcasters, videographers, engineers and vendors. As part of the survey, Hamlet randomly selected one of the respondents to win a FlexiScope handheld monitor. The winner was James Fulcher, a camera assistant currently working on Inside Luxury Travel, a series with a potential audience of 350 million homes worldwide.
Asked about stereoscopic 3D television, Fulcher said "As with all new technologies there is always an initial excitement, which goes along with extensive testing and development of both its technical challenges and its creative potential. 3D appears to have evolved through the stages of being a gimmick to becoming a diverse, adaptable technology.
"I do not believe that 3D will replace traditional broadcasting methods," he continued. "However, with the modern multi-platform environment there is the ability to simultaneously broadcast a dual 2D/3D service, and the option of an added 3D broadcast is a potential asset. I am looking forward to experimenting further."
On his good fortune of winning the Flexiscope, he commented "On Inside Luxury Travel we do a lot of in-car shooting, using minicams which are a real hassle to match, expose and frame, especially as the camera is wedged into the corner of the car and so it is almost impossible to see the screen. The FlexiScope will be the ideal way to match cameras on location, so I am sure it will be accompanying me to many weird and wonderful locations around the world."