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Saturday, March 20, 2010

3D TV- What's On?

Ok, we ran a little behind this week due to a corporate project so we're catching up this weekend! Here's something of interest for you gadget freek types. From the 3D TV Blog:

If you’re the early-adopter type who doesn’t mind paying top dollar for the latest tech gear, 3D TV may tickle your buying bone. But once you’ve shelled out thousands of dollars for 3D-enabled hardware, such as a Panasonic, Sony, or Samsung 3D TV, a 3D-capable Blu-ray player, and two or more pairs of 3D glasse, well, what’s on 3D TV anyway? Here’s your 3D programming guide for 2010.
ESPN in June will launch a 3D TV network that will show at least 85 sporting events this year. Its inaugural 3D show: the first 2010 FIFA World Cup match between Mexico and South Africa on June 11. The network says it has tested ESPN 3D for more than two years, and is optimistic that sports fans will cheer the new technology.
One question: Will soccer players be encouraged to gratuitously kick the ball at 3D cameras? The ten people watching in 3D will be thrilled!
ESPN will beef up its 3D programming schedule next year, adding the 2011 BCS National Championship Game, other college football and basketball contests, the Summer X Games, and up to 25 World Cup matches.
It’s a shame that “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin had an unfortunate run-in with a stingray back in 2006, because his high-energy outdoor antics would’ve been a natural for 3D. Then again, plenty of nature shows are a good match for the in-your-face realism of 3D, which is why Discovery Communications is teaming up with Sony and IMAX to launch a 24/7 3D television network.
The new channel will offer programming best suited to 3D, covering such topics as engineering, natural history, space, science, technology, and so on. Sony and IMAX will obtain television rights to 3D movies, which will air on Discovery’s 3D network.
Starting in June, DirecTV HD subscribers will get a free software upgrade that allows them to watch three 3D channels. One pay-per-view channel will show movies, documentaries and other fare. The second, 3D DIRECTV on Demand, will have sports, music, and other content. A third channel will have free 3D sampler demos. DirecTV is working with a number of big-name content providers, including CBS, Fox Sports, MTV, NBC Universal, and Turner Broadcasting, to develop shows in 3D.
Three-dimensional Hollywood blockbusters such as “Avatar,” “Up,” and “Alice in Wonderland” are a natural for 3D home theater–or so Hollywood hopes. We’ll find out later this year when the first 3D Blu-ray discs begin to ship. Better get your earplugs ready, because the marketing hype for “Avatar” in particular is bound to be deafening.
HDTV 2010: The 3D Revolution Is Coming. Not surprisingly, 3D TV programming pickings will be slim this year, but your 3D-viewing choices should increase considerably in 2011, particularly if 3D TV sets gain favor with consumers–a development that’s far from certain right now.


  1. 3-D TV is still an experiment

    by Michael Grotticelli/Broadcast Engineering

    Like many, Insight Media thinks the market will grow quickly, predicting sales of 3-D TVs to increase more than tenfold from about 3.4 million this year to 49.6 million by 2015.
    I understand there’s a lot of hype and promising sales predictions surrounding 3-D technology, but we all need to take a closer look at the real world for a moment.

    Three-dimensional images, or what we popularly call “3-D,” has actually existed as a tiny niche in film technology for more than 120 years. These gimmicky films were always expensive to produce and usually required viewers to wear special glasses to see the effect.
    It was derived from stereoscopic photography, a photographic technique used to record an image from two perspectives. Special projection hardware with eyewear is used to provide the illusion of depth when viewing the film.
    A decade after the launch of digital HD video technology, the TV industry needed to create something new in the wake of falling display prices. They decided on 3-D HDTV. Helping propel the idea was the unprecedented success in 2009 of the 3-D motion picture “Avatar.”
    Distributing it to homes is another — harder to predict and currently impractical to implement — story.

    Whether home viewers want or will buy 3-D displays so soon after purchasing new HDTV sets remains to be seen. Insight Media thinks the market will grow quickly, predicting sales of 3-D TVs to increase more than tenfold from about 3.4 million this year to 49.6 million by 2015. ISuppli, another marketing company, predicts sales of 78 million 3-D TV sets in 2015; it projects a market valued at $64.4 billion.
    At the Samsung Experience showroom at the Time Warner Center, in New York City, which includes a dozen large-screen 3-D sets in a special 3-D viewing room, Samsung executives said they expect to sell 2 million 3-D sets (worldwide) this year. The sets will cost between $2000 and $6000 for 46in and 55in models, respectively. Industry experts predict prices will fall below $1000 by 2015. That was the “sweet spot” for HDTVs.

    With significant financial backing from CE manufacturers, ESPN, DirecTV and Discovery have all announced they will launch 3-D programming services this year. ESPN’s will be during the World Cup Soccer tournament in June, “broadcasting” to select theaters across the U.S. Sporting events and motion pictures are expected to be the prime sources of 3-D programming for some time to come.

    Despite all the industry hype, however, 3-D sets are not yet in American homes. The move from HDTV to 3-D TV is also an unnatural one for most consumers, unlike the switch from analog TV to HDTV. Current technology requires home viewers to wear special glasses, which can be a major inconvenience.
    So far, 3-D has been viewed only in small doses. I personally witnessed several sporting events and found the images compelling, but the production values lacking. Whether the trend will catch on in homes is anyone’s guess. As HDTV sales begin to wane, the consumer electronics industry is betting on it. With more than 19 movies on tap to be shown in 3-D this year, the motion picture industry is betting on it as well.

    For me, 3-D is still a science project, a lab experiment in search of a real-world application, that is, a way to sell more electronics and packaged media (e.g., Blu-ray Discs).

  2. Well, this is all true and easy to digest. We believe that it's too early to buy into a 3D TV.
    But let us point out that we also waited for 1080P Hi-Def display prices to drop.
    On the other hand our friend (and genius) Sean Fairburn ( who is a no BS kinda guy)... is working with camera manufacturers and test equipment companies to make this a viable reality. If anybody can figure out how to get this to be "user friendly", Sean is the man!
    So yes, this is exciting technology and we believe it has very viable potential. It's definitely gonna be Very Cool!