3D TV Roundup: ESPN, Discovery Announce 3D Channels, Who’s Next?

This week has been a firestorm of 3D TV developments, with both ESPN and Discovery announcing plans for an all-3D channels and several TV manufacturers rolling out 3D TV models at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas…

…At this point, everyone knows that 3D TV is coming. The question is how many people will be able to watch it. The Los Angeles Times reports that Discovery and ESPN’s new 3D channels will be massive undertakings with extremely high costs that will be felt by the consumer on the back end…

…Time Warner Cable is already in preliminary discussions with ESPN and Discovery to carry their upcoming 3D channels, according to The Business Insider. The cable carrier, along with rival Comcast, is currently working on improving its cable boxes to show high-quality 3D content…

…ESPN has referred to its new 3D Channel as, “an ongoing science project.” According to Multichannel News ESPN began to seriously examine the potential of 3D nearly a year ago when it created a 30-person committee – the 3D organizing committee (3DOC) – to look into possible 3D projects…

…According to The Wall Street Journal, Sony Corp. is placing a huge bet this year that 3D technology will vault the company back into a leadership position in the living room. In addition to becoming the official 3D sponsor of ESPN 3D, Sony has unveiled an onslaught on 3D products at this year’s CES. Sony will also have a tall task ahead of them to maintain their position as the dominant camera provider for 3D production, as competitors like Samsung roll out state-of-the-art 3D cameras of their own…

…With all wave of 3D developments this week, many may have forgotten the most important question of all: Do Consumers Really Want 3-D TVs? Nick Bilton at The New York Times examines whether the average Joe will be willing to not only buy a brand new 3D set, but also purchase and wear the necessary 3D glasses…

…According to The Wall Street Journal, at least four new 3D television networks are currently in the works (including ESPN, Discovery, and DirecTV). These networks hope to finally overcoming the chicken-and-egg problem that has long prevented 3D’s expansion into the home: how to convince consumers and media companies to invest in a technology with very little equipment and content available for it…

…The conversion of existing 2D programming to 3D is getting a lot of attention, especially as advancements push the price down. And for good reason. Carolyn Giardina at The Wrap argues that not only would a flood of conversions provide instant content for 3D-ready homes, but it would breathe new life not into everything from recently released movie hits to classic TV series, such as “Star Trek” or even “CSI”…

…Broadcasting & Cable reports that the new Discover-IMAX-Sony channel has already explored 2D-to-3D technology in hopes of creating programming that is more cost effective than original 3D content. It also plans to explore international distribution opportunities in the near future…

…Movie studios, TV networks, and consumer electronics manufacturers alike are jumping on the 3D TV train as USA Today takes a look at how 3D technology and content will be sold to the public. An onslaught of 3D movies and programming is on the way, but retailers are still a bit unsure as to how to show off 3D in retail stores.