Sports & 3D, Apple & Netflix

George Lucas will be re-releasing all six Star Wars films in 3D starting in 2012 in order, which means you have to suffer through the latest ones to get to the good stuff. Sorry if I have offended the 3 Jar Jar Binks fans out there.

There were twenty films released in 3D in 2009 vs. eight in 2008. According to film-releases.com, over seventy 3-D titles have been scheduled from Fall 2010 - Dec. 2011. For full report, click here.

Some of these films were retro-fit, like "Clash of the Titans." The results of that experiment were mixed at best visually. But. if the public is willing to pay up to a 25% premium for tickets, you can see why they did it.

But, as an actor I wouldn't like my head to look that thick on the screen. Craninal victimization is the technical term for this unfortunate aspect of tacking on 3D to 2D material.

3D is here to stay, for now. 3D capable screens across the US and Canada have more than doubled to 3,548 in about a year.

The public is embracing it for now, but how long will they pay $16 (L.A.) vs. $12 for a movie.

ESPN is currently the only 3D network. They will broadcast 85 live sporting events to those with HD and 3D service AND a 3D capable screen.

Cost (with ATT U-Verse) $20 for HD/3D service, Panasonic 3D capable 50" Plasma TV $2400. You can get smaller screens for about $1500, but why would you.

What about 2D Web TV: ESPN3.com, MLB.tv & NHL Gamecenter now give sports fans the ability to watch their favorite teams live over the internet.

I tried it on my ATT U-Verse ultra-slow connetion and it's not bad!

Watching my Alma Matter, Miami University (Redhawks, not the weather conditions) was not possible on my Sprint HTC phone. Luckily Colt McCoy and The Cleveland Browns have a Bye this week.

Are we are all moving toward unplugging the ball and tether of cable TV, in this economy. I think so.

In the past, there have not been effective ways to stream content to your living room.

But, AppleTV, Boxee and others are getting there. I hope they can get the phone apps working soon.

Seeing the "spinning beach ball of death" (system busy icon) on my phone as I tried to access real time streaming content makes me wax nostalgic (read as "angry) about dialup internet access speeds and wait times.

As the trickle becomes a gusher of people rushing to "Over the Top" (OTT) or internet based TV, we may see the information superhighway slow to a crawl.

Bandwidth is a moving, relative target. It's more than adequate for highly compressed video. Try uncompressed HD and dialup will look like a dream come true.

Finally, I expect OTT offerings to increase in value and competitiveness to broadcast TV (small and getting smaller "B" intended). Apple is easily the most innovative large company in entertainment and their voice will be heard.

Flexing their muscles and their generous war chest, Apple may soon be in acquisition mode.

One likely target is Netflix with their $50 billion plus in cash reserves. The synergy of the deal will bolster badly needed content as well as around 16 million users to market iPhones, iPads and all things Apple.

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