3D at home: The mirage

With ESPN announcing it’s plan to shut down it’s 3D channel at the end of the year, it becomes clearer that 3D at home will be a missed opportunity. Without a serious sports channel, it is not possible to built a “3D tier” at the distributors’ level and without that there will be no money flowing in the pockets of content producers.

Was it doomed to fail from the beginning? Yes and no. No, because with enough content choices that was properly produced and calibrated for home it could have built a market. Yes, because in the current market where you have to show results in the short term, the proper level of investments were never made, far from it, to create a critical mass.

See, you certainly can’t convince viewers to come watch a few channel when it’s constantly the same thing.

There is also the matter of content that is adapted to the home. The size of the screen and the distance from it makes the experience different. All 3D are not the same in every viewing condition. Some content would probably prove better than the big movies for the home but such offering were never created. Color is color is color, no matter the size, not so with 3D.

Where does that bring us? A lot of waste. People have been excited by the consumer electronic manufacturers, try to build careers and businesses around an opportunity but the lack of vision of the large media players didn’t allow it to happen. Some says that it is because of the glasses and that it will all come back with auto-stereoscopic display. I seriously doubt it. I really don’t think that the technology had much to do with it, the lack of proper content did. If they want to try this again in 5-10 years, I really hope that they put their attention on content first otherwise it will be just again one of those mirage where that goal gets further as you walk towards it.

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