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3DTV: It's a Gamble, But Awesome Still

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(from "Life in Pixels" by Rahul Dowlath)

The CES (Consumer Electronics Show) held recently in Las Vegas, Nevada, had one important and exciting thing coming out of it: the emergence of 3D television in the home-theatre set-up.

This means that we can watch big-budget, sheer-awesomness-exuding, and eye-watrering-it’s-so-beautifully-rendered films like James Cameron’s Avatar in all its 3D glory from the comfort of our living rooms. Sounds good, right? It sure is.

What’s even more exciting is that big-name broadcasters like ESPN and the Discovery Network are planning on broadcasting content in 3D. ESPN even went on to state that they’re planning on broadcasting the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa in 3D.

However, the slight snag with the onset of 3D technology – what some anticipate will be making its way onto store shelves by the end of this year – is that, like the introduction of Sony’s Blu-Ray HD technology, 3DTV will be lacking in the amount of 3D content available for consumption.

However, according to Nic Covey, director of cross-platform insights for The Nielsen Company, “In terms of where the consumer is, over the top is where the action is going to be in 2010,” he said. “That’s what they’re looking for.” So there is in fact consumer interest in this technology; it’s just that the creation of 3D content is expensive, and as such there is not enough available for this to be viable just yet.

ESPN, while showing interest in broadcasting in 3D, still maintains that the creation of such content for live events is going to be expensive. “We need to be able to get 2D and 3D [versions of live sporting events] produced in the same truck,” ESPN’s Chief Technology Officer Chuck Pagano said. “If we have to do side-by-side production, with two crews and two trucks, it could end up being a very long putt for us in terms of making this work economically.”

3DTV is certainly the future of home entertainment, in the same way DVD and surround sound revolutionised the home theatre. It just needs more time to develop. And when that time comes, I will certainly be in line with my 3D goggles in hand ready to get this awesome tech.

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