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News Burns strikes an

News Burns strikes an optimistic note for the future of 3D TV Dreaming in three dimensions Bernhard Burgener has not lost the imagination of a child Bryan Burns, Vice President, Strategic Business Planning & Development at TV sports network ESPN, was unapologetically optimistic about 3D in his IFA International keynote speech yesterday. “People love 3D and the fun is just beginning,” he said. “Following a deal that was signed yesterday, ESPN 3D is now available in 60 million US homes and we know that we can produce great 3D content, but there remains the very important aspect of educating the consumers. The other thing that must happen is that we really need to see plenty of great content. Burns revealed that ESPN has adopted the technology primarily By Gary Smith thanks to the “fantastic support” of Sony and its CEO, Chief Executive and President, Sir Howard Stringer. He also said that the encouragement and support of Comcast, AT&T, DirecTV and Time Warner on the distribution side had been crucial. As is so often the case, sports are a crucial driver of the market and Burns acknowledged that “simply avoiding 3D” was never an option. “In much the same way that we created the tipping point for HD with the launch of our HD service in 2002, I hope that we can do the same for 3D,” he said. “But of course, we have to learn how to make it viable and I believe that the fight to establish 3D will be won by companies who are prepared to work together. Outside broadcasts demand a second truck, an extra crew and that doesn’t pay for itself, so we are looking for a new business model.” Bryan Burns of TV sports network ESPN Burgener has his eye on a future in 3D The company is also pushing forward with its R&D, he said. “We’re not Avatar and we don’t have two years to get a broadcast right, so the crews need to be able to arrive, set up and deliver on the day. In order to ensure that happens, we have established a training facility called the ESPN Innovation Laboratory.” When Bernhard Burgener was a seven-year-old boy, he was a dreamer who loved watching films at the cinema. Fast forward 47 years and the Chairman of the Management Board at Constantin Film still is. As a pioneer in the 3D TV revolution, Burgener is helping to shape the future production and distribution of film, which can make a viewer feel like part of the cast. Burgener believes that the success of Avatar – last year’s 3D science fiction epic directed by James Cameron – was as pivotal a technological moment as the rollout of the VCR system in 1972 or the release of Apple’s iPhone in By Joe Morgan 2007. “Avatar set a benchmark for the computer and film industry. It showed that the future is 3D,” Burgener told delegates in his keynote speech at IFA yesterday. Burgener highlighted events such as Pepsi’s 3D television advertisement at the Super Bowl, and research which predicted that a quarter of all consumers in the West will own a 3D compatible device by 2014. “Technology creates new needs and new markets, which create drivers for growth,” he said. “3D experiences are a very important driver of our philosophy. These films are now top of our agenda and to keep on dreaming is what we all should do.” Burgener even mooted the development of cinematic 3D imagery in the future, which enables the viewer to interact and shape what he or she sees. With autoscopic devices that do not require glasses already on the market today, Burgener argued that the inexorable rise of 3D was just a matter of time. But he declined to say when cinema-goers would be able to watch films in 3D without glasses. 4

News Never mind the platform, feel the quality... Lovefilm puts forward the case for multiplatform content Lovefilm started life as a DVD rental business but, with the onset of video downloading, has transformed itself into the ‘Netflix of Europe’. It now has around 1.5 million subscribers, predominantly in the UK and Germany, who are able to rent DVDs or download films. The company’s Chief Financial Officer, Jim Buckle, is at IFA to participate in the first IFA DisplaySearch conference. Here, he talks to IFA International about the brave new world of connected TV… We have been putting a lot of emphasis on connected TV over the past 12 to 18 months. We launched a streaming service to PCs in May 2009, and this year we have begun rolling the service out to connected TVs, initially through deals with Sony and Samsung. So I will be talking at DisplaySearch about the importance of those services, both to our customers and in terms of developing our business for the future. Is the onset of web widgets and internet TVs changing the way people view the television experience? A minority of people understand the potential of what they can do with their TV, but this group is growing. One of the key reasons why people join our online rental service is convenience. It’s much easier than going to the rental store and the immediacy of being able to select a film and watch it there and then is obviously a big advantage. But we believe that people streaming content to their PC is an interim and minority activity — in the long run, we expect the majority of viewing of our streamed content to be through the TV in some form or other. What about the future? In the short term, with regard to our streaming offer, we are looking to increase the range of devices. We are on two Internet-connected TV platforms, and we will be looking to expand that over the next 12 to 18 months, initially in the UK, but eventually across all the geographies in which we are present. But the fascinating thing about the whole Lovefilm’s Jim Buckle: increasing the range of devices entertainment world right now is that nobody knows what the viewing experience will be in 10 years’ time. All we do know is that it will certainly be very different from today. Protect your world! IFA International • Saturday, 4 th & Sunday, 5 th September 2010 5

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