3DTV: Here Comes the Content

It is coming slowly, but it is coming. ESPN is working hard to figure out how to do live sports in stereoscopic 3D, and the movie studios keep churning out feature films. And now comes word that the kids are not going to be left out. 3net is a joint venture by Discovery, Sony, and IMAX, which produces a 24/7 network of 3DTV programming. The company recently announced a deal with Tiny Island Productions for a 26-episode animated series, “Dream Defenders”. The show is slated to debut this fall. 3net is currently available on DirecTV Channel 107. Here’s a preview from Tiny Island, which is based in Singapore.

As expected, we’re seeing the amount of 3D content build slowly but steadily. Too few U.S. households have 3DTVs at this point to make it worth a massive push to create 3D programming, but the number will not grow until consumers feel the pangs of regret because they are missing out on something cool. I also expect that we’ll start to see more progress on computerized conversion of 2D back catalog content into 3D formats. These won’t be suitable for theatrical release — at least not at the start — but they will be good enough for watching at home, and as the volume of production increases, the price of conversion should come down.

I’m sticking with my prediction that 2012 will be the year that we have enough 3DTV content to make it worth getting a set that supports it. Figure on late 2012 or early 2013 to be about the right time to get a set with the feature.