3D content is king at giant tech show

An upcoming video camera will allow users to shoot home movies in 3D

Most observers agree that more content is needed for 3D to take off in the living room. An important part will be self-generated, Panasonic said Wednesday at the Internationale Funkaustellung (IFA) trade show in Berlin.

At IFA, Panasonic showed its upcoming HDC-SDT750 3D video camera, which will allow people to shoot their own 3D home movies, Panasonic said.

The HDC-SDT750 uses a detachable lens to be able to shoot in 3D; when the lens is removed the camera can record in ordinary 2D using its standard lens. The camera will be available in October, and Macworld has reported the price will be US$1,400.

More 3D movies on Blu-ray will of course also help, and in time for the holiday shopping season Panasonic will be able to bundle its products with the mother of all 3D movies, James Cameron's "Avatar," it said.

Content partners were also on hand in Berlin to show there will be more 3D content. Games publisher Ubisoft demonstrated upcoming 3D game Shaun White Skateboarding. It also promised that half of the titles it releases in 2011 will be in 3D.

Eurosport said the company has been learning the 3D ropes by shooting different sports and events, including the Tour de France cycle race, equestrian events and motorsports. In 2011, it will start broadcasting sports in 3D to homes.

IFA attendees will also be able to watch the U.S. Open in 3D at Panasonic's booth, the company said.

Sony also underlined the need for good content. Sony, Discovery and IMAX will launch a 24/7, dedicated 3D TV channel in the U.S. early next year with content that lends itself well to the format -- namely natural history, space, science and technology, motion pictures and children's programming, the companies said.

Sony agrees that sports will likely be one of the key drivers of adoption, and it's working closely with both Sky and ESPN on their 3D television channels, according to CEO Howard Stringer.

There will be more sports talk at IFA on Friday, when an ESPN executive takes the stage to outline what 3D programming the network will air next year in the U.S., and also talk about some of the lessons it has learned so far.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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