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Explosion In 3D TV Networks & Channels Indicating The Growing Potential Of 3DTV
There's no doubting the massive potential that 3D TV has to bring a new dimension to home entertainment, but one of the obstacles so far has been a lack of 3D content for viewers to watch. That's all changing with the arrival in ever increasing numbers of 3D TV networks and the dedicated 3D TV channels that they carry. With the industry tacking the issues that wearing 3D glasses presents with developments of lighter and cheaper models - along with the potential of affordable mobile 3D TV and gaming devices like the Nintendo 3DS portable, and larger screen 3D TV without glasses models - it's falling on these new 3D TV networks to ramp up their 3D content programming.
And they're responding well to the challenge with both scheduled and 3D VOD video on demand services, with some of these operating 24 hours a day. The 3D TV channels are giving us 3D content that's been specially filmed for 3D viewing, in the form of well known 3D movies, sports broadcasts, and natural world programmes. These 3D TV networks are being operated by such well known names as Comcast, Sky, Verizon, and DirecTV. They carry the growing number of 3D TV channels and video on demand services such as ESPN 3D, n3D, DirecTV Cinema, and the new 3net partnership between Sony, IMAX, and Discovery. You can see a full list just above this article.
You'll see that a number of the 3D TV networks and channels I've mentioned are US centric, but the growth doesn't stop there. This is a truly global revolution in TV, with channels and networks throughout the UK, Europe, and the rest of the world either already running 3D content or with plans to join the party. By the end of 2010, viewers across the world had a choice of 3D content from up to 15 VOD channels, around a dozen 3D network TV channels (cable or satellite TV), and a number of internet 3D channels.
Coupled with an increasing choice in 3D TVs along with 3D Blu Ray players and availability of some stunning 3D imaging on Blu Ray Disc or 3D DVD, this explosion in content availability is at last beginning to show those of us wanting to buy a 3D TV that the time to get the credit card out is here. As an added bonus, don't forget that owning a 3D TV gets you the big screen chance to view 3D photos and play 3D games too.
For nearly 90 years, 3D viewing has been almost exclusively locked away in movie theaters. Every once in a while, a TV show might have a 3D episode as a special event, offering disposable 3D glasses at local convenience or electronics stores free with purchase. These major marketing events could usually drum up a bigger viewing audience, but they only lasted one night. The process for creating 3D, too, was often the now-outdated red and blue anaglyph conversion, which causes headaches over extended periods of time.
The success of new 3D films like Avatar, Clash of the Titans, and How to Train Your Dragon has reawakened our appetite for 3D content, though. Now audiences are clamoring for the same experience they get in theaters, but in the comfort of their own homes. The 3D TV manufacturers have heard their cries, and in response a bevy of 3D TV models were announced initially at the 2010 and then at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Shows. The 2011 show saw announcements from all of the manufacturers on their new planned line ups, clearly anticipating good growth in the market throughout the year.
Much of this growth in the market is expected because the technology in 3D TVs is improving all the time. The manufacturers know that as content availability grows and new 3D TV networks find get a footing, so the interest in 3D TV in general will grow exponentially. The capability of a number of 3D TVs to act as 2D to 3D converters with 2D to 3D conversion capability built in is another bonus.
Sony Corp. brokered a deal in 2010 with IMAX and Discovery Communications, owner of the Discovery Channel and its networks, to launch a new, fully 3D TV network in 2011. This new 3D network - named 3net - will offer 3D content in some exciting areas, including space, exploration, adventure and natural history. The partnership also has stated content will not exclusively come from Sony, IMAX, or Discovery. Third-party 3D providers will also be able to participate.
Discovery Communications is set to handle the network services and rights, while Sony will manage advertising sales and content licensing. IMAX is on the deal to provide future 3D films, as well promote the network all its solely owned theaters across the nation. The company also will be providing its patented enhancement techniques and 3D technology for the production of ongoing 3D content.
The Discovery/Sony network won't be the only option, either. ESPN are already up and running with the ESPN 3D channel which launched in June 2010. This 3D TV network showed more than 85 live sporting events - including the World Cup plus some NBA and college basketball games - throughout 2010.
Access to the content from these new 3D networks is only through 3D TV sets, so you'll need to upgrade to see it. But this is only the beginning. Many industry insiders believe that if ESPN 3D continues to de well, it could lead to an ABC/Disney 3D TV network soon after. On the bright side, the technology no longer requires the color-distorting technique of red and blue anaglyph layers. Instead, viewers are able to see all the 3D media in high definition, colour -correct splendor.
With a handful of 3D TV networks already up and running, and surely more on the way, the switch to 3D content at home has taken its first steps. In the past, 3D content was limited to a gimmick. Now that big TV content like sporting events, movies, and natural world programming is available in three dimensions, this new media wave is gearing up to sweep the television broadcast industry. Undoubtedly once the content is more readily available, the sale of 3D TV sets will rise, possibly leading to a whole new creative explosion in television.
Copyright 3DTVGuide.org 2011
Latest News & Developments
Feb 18 2011 - Comcast 24 hour 3D channel
Named Xfinity 3D, the new channel from the major TV network Comcast will see its first broadcast on Feb 20, showing a range of 3D content including movies, sports, music, and natural world programmes.
Jan 2011- Sony, Discovery, IMAX = 3net
The partnership between three giants of the entertainment world - Sony, Discovery, and IMAX - has been given the brand name 3net. Plans are to offer 3D TV fans a choice of viewing from the largest library of 3D content available, with DirecTV being the first 3D TV network to carry the exciting 24/7 joint venture channel.
The first 3D programs due to air on Sunday February 13th at 8 PM ET are the 3D TV premiere of Into The Deep and the 3D premieres of China Revealed and Forgotten Planet. The 3D TV channel is planning to roll out other 3D series plus brand new programming every night at 9 PM ET.
3net joins the other 3D TV channels - n3D and ESPN 3D - to be the first channels to offer 3D content 24 hours a day.
Here's a summary of the three first 3net 3D programs:
China Revealed (8:00 PM):
An hour long fascinating exploration of China's cities, nature, geography and countryside.
Into The Deep :
An IMAX presentation that takes you on a stunning 3D undersea exploration.
Forgotten Planet (10:00 PM):
Exploring the strangest places on earth in full 3D - including empty cities now completely devoid of all life and activity, giving a fascinating insight to the way our world may look a long way into the future.
Oct 2010 - Sony, IMAX, and Discovery Join Forces
Sony, IMAX, and Discovery are reported to have signed an agreement to work on a 3D TV channel due to go live in 2011.
DIRECTV 3D channels live in June
In June DirecTV will be offering a free HD upgrade to subscribers with part of the package giving access to three DirecTV 3D channels plus the ESPN 3D sports channel.
3D TV Networks Comcast DirecTV Dish Network 3D Cablevision Cox Communications/Cable Time Warner
3D TV Channels ESPN 3D 3net Verizon FiOS 3D Yes Network DirecTV Cinema 3D DirecTvHD 3D n3D Wealth TV Xfinity
European 3D Orange 3D Canal+ SES Astra UPC
Virgin Sky 3D Channel 4 3D BBC 3D BT Vision
Rest Of The World Australia Japan Middle East