– 3 Dimensional HDTV

ASU's Decision Theater - click for more

ASU's Decision Theater - click for more

Original post:  20 May 2008
Robert Atkinson, research policy director for the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (there’s a mouthful) has some provocative thoughts about really high speed broadband – “ultrabroadband”, at least as reported by Jon Van in a recent Chicago Tribute article.   Atkinson believes new technologies such as “three dimensional HDTV” will need such high speeds.  He also thinks about ultrabroadband as almost a natural monopoly in some markets, but competition is required in the largest markets to “provide benchmarks for what to expect in service, technology and price”.
This is pretty much what we’ve been saying in Seattle for some time – going back to the 2005 report of our Task force on Telecommunications Innovation.   That report decried the lack of telecommunications and cable competition in Seattle.   See my entry from May 16th (“Wireless with a Kirkland Signature …”) for more details about lack of competition here.
A whole host of new services and applications could take advantage of ultrabroadband.   In the Tribune article Atkinson specifically calls out 3D HDTV, really high quality video conferencing and telecommuting instead of paying for office space.   And many others could be added:  multiple HDTV streams to homes and businesses or “from” homes and business (imagine broadcasting in HDTV from your home!  Talk about the ultimate in “public access’!).   The folks at the University of Washington and elsewhere are experimenting with 3 dimensional “decision theaters” and superHDTV with four times the quality of HDTV (think about a TV screen covering the WALL of your living room).  High quality multi-player gaming will probably drive the need for ultrabroadband.
Qwest DSL and Cable Company Internet service won’t cut it in the world Atkinson sees.    But that’s what Seattle – with no true competition – will be stuck with while 3D HDTV comes to Chicago, New York and San Francisco.

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Filed under broadband, fiber, video

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