The Disney Factor

Recently I was able to enjoy a week in the “most magical place on earth”. For those who are uninitiated, this is Walt Disney World. The vacation was a much needed respite and a good time was had by all. This is not a post about the hotel, parks, or food. It is about how much influence the Mouse has over AV.

One aspect is 3D. We have talked about 3D technology a considerable amount on AVWeek the past two years. I have written about it and so have others. The consensus from AV professionals I have spoken with is that the current iteration of 3D is a fad being used to drive flat panel purchases. It has failed if that is the goal. However, there were more than a few 3D attractions at the various parks we visited. It wasn’t just the old tried and true Muppets 3D. There were shows, rides, and rides that doubled as games (see Toy Story Midway Mania). It felt like every time I turned around I was being given a pair of passive (thankfully) 3D glasses that a thousand other people had worn that day.

Most of the time the term “indoctrinate” is overused. It probably is to heavy-handed a word to use in this instance. So let’s use brainwash instead. It is almost as if Disney is brainwashing the masses that come to their parks to accept 3D as a viable and desirable viewing option. See dad, 3D looks great here at Disney World. We should get one and then get all the Disney 3D movies. No. No, no, no, no, no. No. Even with all their research and development money these attractions are only passable at best as far as a 3D experience goes.

This blog post also coincides with another rumor floating around; HDCP v2.x. This is a completely new standard, not the traditional revisions instituted by some standards. (The reason for the 2.x is because there is also some documentation on 2.0, and 2.1 but it may get curiouser from there). This is going to require locality check (read short video runs) by requiring the 20 ms response time and other encryption requirements. The reason for putting this in a post about Disney is that they are one of the main companies behind HDCP and HDMI. Their influence and reach is evidenced by their transports and signage in the parks. You see ads for the various Disney properties. From ABC to ESPN, you cannot get away from the Disney factor. If we as an AV industry hope to navigate these new content protection waters, we will have to learn to swim with some of the bigger sharks; that may mean Disney.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Have a Merry Christmas and a great week.

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