NAB Perspectives: With 3D Bubble Burst, Corplex’s West Looks Forward to Future of 1080p

Corplex has made no secret of its reluctance to join the great 3D hype of the past three years, and President Scott West believes that the bet is paying off, because demand for 3D sports programming has yet to take off on a mass scale.

“Now that the 3D bubble has burst, we are hoping to see the manufacturers refocus their effort to develop other products,” West said at the NAB Show last week. “3D took up a lot of industry resources so we didn’t have a lot of other developments over the past few years. We are encouraged that some of these other manufacturers might start going in a new direction.

“3D was a huge distraction, and it just sucked up financial resources and people so that [manufacturers] weren’t able to do much else on the R&D side, which has really hindered technology development outside of 3D recently,” he continued. “We made a decision a couple years ago that 3D was not something that we wanted to invest in until we saw more traction in the market, and that point never really came. We’re glad we decided not to go that route.”

In addition to setting up a booth at the NAB Show, Corplex rolled out its brand-new Chromium mobile-production unit at the annual NAB Alliance party on April 16. The 53-ft. truck features a Grass Valley Kayenne switcher, which West expects will be the key to the progression of 1080p production in coming years. The Kayenne does not yet pass a 3G signal (although Grass Valley expects to have an update in the near future), making 1080p production impossible at this point.

“We bought the Kayenne last year. but it doesn’t pass 3G right now, and we are waiting to see when that will be available,” he said. “We have an agreement to purchase, but we don’t know the timing.

“We built our last truck specifically to handle [1080p production], with the exception of the pieces that were not yet available at the time,” he added. “We are now waiting to see when the rest of the pieces of that puzzle will come in. We haven’t been asked specifically to do anything in 1080p yet, but we want to be ready so that when the questions come we are prepared to do it.”