Editorial: And TV Shall Lead Them
With the massively successful Avatar, the film business took the early lead in 3D hype. But now it is time for the television industry to grab the reins and assume a leadership position over its movie brethren.
By B&C Staff -- Broadcasting & Cable, 4/5/2010 12:00:00 AM
Ironically, though, in the near future an aged technology has a chance to turn this aged hierarchy on its head, at least within a single aspect of content delivery. With the massively successful Avatar, the film business took the early lead in 3D hype. But now it is time for the television industry to grab the reins and, for once, assume a leadership position over its movie brethren. And then we’ll all see if 3D actually has legs.
Coming out of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the three-dimensional hype was palpable. You would have thought every network would be broadcasting in 3D to tens of millions of homes by the end of the year the way the media covered the craze. Since then, cooler heads have for the most part prevailed, as industry followers realize there are numerous challenges before 3D ever takes off, if it does. But that rightfully hasn’t stopped the 3D train from plowing forward, from a recent hockey game in 3D to ESPN finally nailing its carriage deal with DirecTV after the two sides started off far apart on money.
And this week, we’ll all have the chance to peer into the 3D future a bit more. While Eldrick Woods made sure it’s hardly the biggest story out of Augusta, Ga., a 3D feed will be emanating from The Masters for those with the ability to see it, including fans who can get to Sony Style stores within the Comcast footprint.
While sporting events like this summer’s MLB All-Star Game and the World Cup will continue to drive the 3D buzz, we are hoping that television as a whole can push the envelope. We are uncertain of 3D’s true future—some of us are infinitely more skeptical than others—but the buzz and momentum are unavoidable.
And we will do our part to advance the cause when B&C Technology Editor Glen Dickson leads a panel discussion of ESPN’s 3D efforts at NAB on April 12, and again on May 25 when we hold our own 3D summit in New York, right before a meaningful volume of 3D sets begins to arrive in stores.
Avatar was great, don’t get us wrong, but 3D could be a massive opportunity for the television industry, and one in which it could lead. And who knows, if it takes off, maybe TV execs will start getting the best tables in Beverly Hills.
"...it is time for the television industry to grab the reins and, for once, assume a leadership position over its movie brethren".
Who's Kool-Aid are you guys/gals drinking? Are you serious or was this supposed to be posted on April 1st? Who, exactly, has "looser ties to reality" here?
Assuming (and right now is the time to suspend your disbelief) that television stations have the budget to upgrade their plant to 3GBps infrastructures and simply pass through 3DTV from the networks as we struggle out of the Great Recession, where is this content coming from? On who's screen will it be seen? And what measurement metric will be employed so that broadcasters know when their content is watched it is being seen in 3D?
I believe broadcasters should be focused on their core strengths; local and hyper-local news and content creation as well as supplying free mobile DTV to the young mobile masses, not the couple dozen Uber-geeks that will actually buy a 3DTV when they hit the shelves and then troll the forums complaining they don't have any 3D to watch on their new TV.
What seems to have been overlooked here is that cable systems are not limited to 6MHz/19.39Mbps. It costs very little for an MSO to free up space on their delivery system to provide for and experiment with 3DTV. This is not a luxury broadcasters have.
Pursuing 3DTV in its alpha state doesn't make sense for broadcasters. Let it become a standard (just as mobile DTV has just done) and then we can better judge the cost/benefit ratio after the Avatar 3D hype has settled down and calmer heads prevail.
Get a grip. And stop worrying about what table you sit at in Beverly Hills.
Sean T. - 4/5/2010 1:25:36 PM EDT
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