First Holographic TV Shows To Debut
ENTERTAINMENT 10/06/2039 8:25 PM ET
First Holographic TV Shows To Debut

Jane Ebringhausen
Technology Reporter

CC BY 4.0 Tupac Hologram Performance at Coachella 2012 by evsmitty | Writer image: CC BY 4.0 Moi by SurFeRGiRL30 | Images were cropped. Images used for illustration purposes only.
Rap legend, the late Tupac Shakur at Coachella 2012, was one of the first high-profile holograms.
First there was black and white, then there was color, then there was high-def...

...Now, holographic (or holo, if you like).

With the downward pressure on holographic player pricing, this fall will see the introduction of the first holo shows on TV. For those who own a player, these will be exciting times.

The networks releasing holo content have each taken different routes in choosing which shows to broadcast holo, and their choices may reflect confidence (or lack thereof) in the new technology.

While Sony's mass recall of last year's Hololight did not reassure customers, Google, Apple and Samsung have all released well-regarded holoplayer models in the past twelve months. "Immersive imagery" has passed the beta stage.

HBO has bitten deepest into the holographic apple, releasing season 2 of flagship show Dread and Dodge in holo and flat formats, while NBC is choosing to broadcast the popular Crystal and the very unanticipated Just Shoot Me! remake both ways.

Fox has chosen the lower-profile Vocus and My Life, Undone to utilize the new technology.

It's looking broadly like Sony Pictures, Facebook and Samsung's ten-year investment in both theatrical and home holographic technology is paying off. Holoplayer sales are rising exponentially and the movie studios' initial forays into cinema holography have been a resounding success.

The first theatrical holo releases last year ("For The Ages" and Tarantino's "Death Kill Blood") each garnered more than $3bn worldwide despite critical indifference.

"Roman Caesar" despite its R-rating, took $2.5bn this year as the first by-the-numbers gory summer blockbuster holographic movie. "AT-AT: Alpha Squadron" will be showing up next month. At last count seven summer blockbusters are due for holo format release next year.

From conversations I've had with industry insiders, the chief technical problem to overcome was the relationship between the audience and the hologram itself.

Focus groups hated watching a holographic movie projected in front of them,
whether the image was three or ten feet wide. They responded far better when
the hologram was set to stretch to fill the room, which makes you feel like
you're in the screenplay, rather than just watching it. Directors are altering the way they shoot, in order to better accomodate "the invisible person" (the audience member).

I'm especially looking forward to Dread and Dodge; HBO's confidence is a sure sign that the technology is here to stay. I want to see Skull recover and find Detective Ramon.

And when it happens I'm gonna be part of it.
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