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Sony and CBS research 3DTV

23 March 2010

Visitors to Las Vegas can now participate in stereoscopic 3D consumer research at the new Sony 3D Experience Centre, writes Carolyn Giardina.

The centre – a joint venture between Sony and US broadcaster CBS – recently opened at the MGM Grand hotel in the CBS Television City consumer research facility, which attracts an estimated 1.1 million visitors each year. The new 3000sqft arm was designed to resemble different rooms in a home, all equipped with Sony 3D TVs.

Participants will test emerging technology with varying types of content. Some of the results will be available to the public. Other tests will produce data to be used internally by Sony and CBS. Part of the plan for Sony is to generate input about its new 3D TVs, 3D Blu-Ray players and related consumer electronics technology.

CBS wants to develop 3D programming and plans to use the tests to learn what sort of content would interest viewers, said David Poltrack, president of CBS Vision. Test content will include games, features, sports, drama, and 3D-converted television programmes.

“Part of what Sony is doing is learning what consumers want in 3D,” said Randy Waynick, Sony Electronics senior VP strategy and alliances. “The floodgates are starting to open.”

Sony, Imax and Discovery recently announced that they were teaming up to launch a 24/7 3D channel, while DirecTV and ESPN are also preparing to bring 3D to American homes.

Poltrack reported that the centre would also be used study psychophysical responses to 3D. That would include examining factors such as viewing distance and length of time spent watching the format.

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