Will 3D porn be the making of 3D TV?

3rd Jun 2010 | 10:05

Will 3D porn be the making of 3D TV?

Mucky flicks mean tech success. Don't they?

Good news for fans of 3D TV and Apple iPads: the porn industry is doing its very best to protect your favourite bits of kit. Despite Steve Jobs' best efforts to keep the iPad porn-free the adult industry is already adapting its content to make it iPad-friendly.

Meanwhile in Japan, porn star Mika Kayama is going to do her thing in glorious 3D. That means both the iPad and 3D TV will be massive successes for a very long time.

Everybody knows that given the choice between tech that's pristine and pure and tech that likes to get down and dirty, down and dirty always wins. Skin flicks help tech triumph, and formats without them flop. But is that actually true?

Not any more.

Let's travel back in time to a happier place, where the world was very different from today. Yep, we're talking about 2007. Amid rumours that Blu-ray firms weren't keen on making mucky movies in their pristine plants, the porn industry threw its weight behind HD DVD.

One year later, HD DVD was dead.

It turns out that what really mattered wasn't the adult industry, but the traditional film industry and the PlayStation 3. And that's because increasingly, porn is something that's viewed in a web browser, not bought on a disc.

Because of that, Steve Jobs' anti-porn stance is utterly meaningless. As long as Apple kit ships with a web browser, people will be able to view pornography on it. iPad porn doesn't mean apps; it means nothing more than "we're re-encoding our video clips."

It wasn't just the delivery mechanism, though - it was the quality. Pornography has the same "good enough" problem that music has: beyond a certain point, any improvements are incremental. That's why Super Audio CD bombed: most people were perfectly happy with low-bitrate MP3s on rubbish headphones or cheap stereos.

With pornography, once the quality's good enough that you can differentiate between People Totally Doing It and a documentary about pigs, a few extra pixels don't make a lot of difference.

Then again, 3D doesn't just offer pixels: it offers a whole new dimension. So let's pretend that the market for shiny video discs isn't dying. If the adult industry embraced 3D, would that shift 3D TVs? Would there be enough business to justify the extra cost of producing 3D porn? We doubt it.

Whether it's a 3D PC or a 3D TV, adding an extra dimension isn't cheap: you're looking at a brand new TV or monitor and a 3D-capable player or video card. That's a big investment for what we suspect isn't going to be an awfully long viewing experience.

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Liked this? Then check out Porn 3.0: the next gen of sex biz tech

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