Baz Luhrmann Among Filmmakers 'Unimpressed' With Built-In 2D-to-3D TV Conversion

'It's random,' the director complains of on-the-fly conversion.

LAS VEGAS -- An increasing number of 3DTVs and Blu-ray players offer built-in 2D-to-3D conversion, allowing consumers to watch any program in the stereo format. But some Hollywood leaders voiced their objections last week at the Consumer Electronics Show.

"It's random," complained director Baz Luhrmann of on-the-fly conversion. "It was really unimpressive."

"As a movie studio, we made it very clear to the consumer electronics companies that we don't support that at all," asserted Fox Home Entertainment president Mike Dunn. "Any time you touch it without the filmmaker, it is off limits. It distorts what everyone is trying to do. We don't even want a football game converted like that."

Helmer Michael Mann likened conversion features on consumer devices to colorization, another technical process of altering existing films that was met with objections from filmmakers. "It's the same idea," he said.

A year ago, a couple of consumer electronics companies offered built-in 2D-to-3D conversion, but now it is practically a standard feature offered by leading manufacturers.

Though it is offered, some believe it might instead serve more to bridge a gap -- offering consumers an increased amount of 3D until more native 3D productions become available.

"The question is will it be utilized," Alec Shapiro, senior vp sales and marketing for Sony's broadcast and production systems division, said of the conversion feature. "It's not the same as native 3D. What you are really doing is altering the depth of field of a 2D picture to give it more dimension. There have been studies-ESPN has done studies-about converted 3D material with consumers, and the preference is far greater for native 3D."