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Wednesday, 30 July 2008 08:46

Telstra claims Australian first with 3D TV

Although 3D TV has been demonstrated over several years at technology trade shows, for gaming, advertising, television, movies and more, Telstra claims it’s first to commercially install the technology at its “Executive Briefing Centre” in Melbourne, Australia.

Set to “engage new media savvy consumers at point-of-purchase” with 3DTV, Telstra claims its achievement is a powerful demonstration of a “ground-breaking communication medium”.

UPDATE: Answers to questions posed at the end of this story can be found in my follow-up story "Telstra’s 3D TV – more questions answered".

The original story continues:

The demonstration took place at Telstra’s new Executive Briefing Centre (EBC) in Melbourne, and was opened by Telstra CEO, Sol Trujillo.

Telstra says it’s an “Australian first”, giving viewers the ability to “engage with powerful 3D content without having to wear polarising glasses”.

A range of 3D TV video clips is being played on what looks like a regular plasma TV, but is of course one of the new 3D-equipped models, including “purpose-built advertising, product information and brand messages for Telstra to demonstrate the power of this technology to the market”.

Another star of the 3D TV content is CEO Sol Trujillo, who is “prominently featured” explaining Telstra’s “Next Dimension Working” initiative for its enterprise and government customers.

Telstra’s Enterprise and Government Executive Director of Convergent Sales, Paul Geason said: “Following on from Telstra’s recent success with Australia’s first live interactive hologram, we partnered with Prime Digital Media (PDM) to deliver another first in 3D interactive content. The commercial use of 3D technology and 3D content to create attention-grabbing digital signage has great potential for Telstra’s enterprise and government customers. The technology lends itself to incredible new customer experiences.”

Geason continued: “Imagine the application of this technology to a traditional and crowded media space to create a new direct communication channel for organisations to engage and inform their customers about new products.”

3D TV installed at Telstra's Executive Briefing Centre - Melbourne Australia

So, what does PDM have to say about its 3DTV achievement? Please read on to page 2.

Telstra didn’t do it all on its own, however: it had help from Prime Digital Media (PDM), which Telstra says is its “Retail Media Solutions” partner. They created a range of “purpose-built product and brand messages to demonstrate the power of this technology to Telstra’s enterprise and government customers.”

PDM says that “the flat-panel plasma display demonstrates a coming together of Telstra's cutting-edge mediacomms and network capabilities, as well as PDM’s advanced 3D content production capabilities.”

Julie Frikken, PDM’s Creative Director said that: “We are excited to be a part of Telstra's world-class Executive Business Centre in Melbourne. The centre is the perfect launch pad for yet another Australian first - 3D TV.”

Frikken continued: “What looks like a regular plasma TV at first glance surprises and engages customers with content that reaches out and invites customers to look again. 3D TV will fundamentally change the rules and scope for communicating messages to the marketplace.”

“This media platform certainly feels like it takes us into the Next Dimension. At PDM we are
specialists in world-class out-of-home digital content production and 3D TV allows us to push
conventional boundaries and capture an audience with simple yet effective brand messages,” Ms
Frikken added.

Telstra's General Manager, Innovation Marketing, Leonie Valentine explains the concept behind the inclusion of 3D TV in the Executive Briefing Centre: "The EBC was designed around Telstra's brand and the Next IP" network to put the power of what we call Next Dimension Working" in the hands of our customers. The inclusion of PDM's 3D content really does take us into the next dimension."

The Melbourne EBC is part of a national customer demonstration capability established by Telstra to allow its Enterprise and Government customers to truly experience the benefits and value of Telstra's integrated solutions and products through briefings and hands-on demonstrations.

So, will Telstra on-sell this technology to other businesses? What about using it with Foxtel? I've asked the questions, but don't have the answers as yet. Please read on to page 3 to see what else I want to know, and when I expect to have the answers I seek!

I’ve called Telstra to ask where else the 3D TV technology will be introduced, clearly wondering whether or not it will be installed at Telstra’s “T-Life” stores, and have asked whether Telstra will be involved in getting other companies to use this as an advertising medium in their stores, aside from just "enterprise and government" customers.

Given that Telstra is also a half owner in Pay TV provider Foxtel, we’ve also asked whether any of its 3D TV moves are a harbinger of 3D TV content at Foxtel, especially given that 3D movies are being made and shown at IMAX cinemas in Australia and worldwide, and a competing 3D cinema chain called “Real D” in the US.

Other questions also revolve around whether this has any impact on future 3D TV free-to-air broadcasts and how and where else Telstra will use this technology.

I'm also going to see the 3D TV installation at Telstra’s Executive Briefing Centre tomorrow for a more detailed demonstration... but for now, Telstra and PDM’s 3D TV setup sounds... er... pretty “frikken” cool to us!

Check back tomorrow for a follow up article.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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