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The Future of Video and Film Industry

By Greg Craft


When the film industry was emerging, viewers would be more than content to check out what’s on the big screen once or twice a year. Now, as the industry has grown immensely, consumers are demanding video and film everywhere they go, and they’re getting it, along with the sharpest picture. Consumers are no longer willing to sit through mediocre graphics—they want to feel like they are in the movie, and luckily the industry knows this and is constantly evolving to offer the highest quality for their viewing pleasure.


The last time you checked out a movie you might have noticed that theaters are quickly becoming digital, giving a more realistic and vivid picture. Digital cinema is expected to replace one-third of the world’s traditional theaters by 2010. If you enjoy the traditional theater I’d soak it up while it’s here, but if you love the new digital cinemas, I’m happy to say it’s only going to get better.


As of now, most digital movie theaters use a 2K projector, that’s right, 2000 lines of resolution. Companies have already begun trying to phase in 4K projectors and some have even been experimenting with an 8K projector—now that’s a picture. 8000 lines of resolution is about as clear as anything can get.


The movie theatres aren’t the only ones upgrading digital cinemas. So are our home theaters. Companies like Sony and Samsung have already begun cramming 4000 lines of resolution into home HDTV sets, though they’re not yet available to the public. At CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2008, Panasonic showed off their 150-inch HDTV featuring what they called “4K by 2K.” They expect to be shipping these out by the end of 2008. Now maybe 150-inches is a little too much TV for one house, but “4K by 2K” is something very possible in a nice 50-inch HDTV set. Now all consumers need is video at the drop of a hat.


Companies like NetFlix and Apple iTunes have already begun offering video rental downloads, and it’s a step towards the future of home video entertainment, but there’s one major road block—getting the video from your computer to your television. Apple has created their AppleTV in order to help facilitate their movie rentals to your television, but consumers want to be freed from another set-top box. Major television manufacturers like Samsung and Philips have begun distributing sets with Ethernet jacks in preparation for the next big jump. Television began with an antenna, switched to cable, then satellite, digital television, and next the Internet.


The Internet will give consumers the ability to watch what they want whenever they want, on demand along with broadcasting regularly scheduled programs. As broadband continues to grow in speed and more consumers switch over, Internet television will become a reality quickly, and major companies know this. Microsoft has recently teamed up with Daum Communications and Celrun Co. to construct Microsoft’s vision of Internet TV. Microsoft will be providing their own IPTV (internet-protocol TV) to the two companies in an effort to produce the next generation of television. Daum is expected to launch their Internet TV service (without real-time broadcasting) in the second half of the year at the earliest.


As Internet TV is being developed, so is another, more futuristic way of watching our movies and playing our video games. Holographic TV sets have been slowly emerging from the dark. What we once saw in Star Wars—Princess Leia’s plea for help, for example, could become a reality before we know it. Several companies like IO2 Technology’s Heliodisplay (www.io2technology.com) and CLARO’s Holographic TV, have begun experimenting with Holographic televisions in which a 3D video will be projected on your living room floor. No matter what angle you look from, you will always be right in the thick of things. While still in testing phases, holographic television will soon become a thing of the present and open up a whole new world of entertainment, from everything as simple as a newscast up to the way we interact with video games.


One thing that will improve the quality of Holographic Television is 3D cameras. 3D cameras have begun emerging within the film industry. Cameron Crowe has been using 3D cameras for the filming of his new film “Avatar,” and U2 has been using the same technology for their new concert video. The cameras give home viewers the feeling as if they are truly there in the movie or at the concert. Companies like Adobe have been working on the technology for these futuristic cameras. The camera’s lens is made up of several lenses, each taking shots at slightly different vantage points at the same time. This technology will not only be used in motion photography, but also as still photography.


Video and film have become a large fascination for most Americans. As the industry continues to grow, consumers will begin to see a much more advanced understanding of the technology. Pictures will become clearer, content will become controlled by the consumer, and the overall experience will be heightened in ways that were once unimaginable.