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Forums Business & Career Building ESPN 3D coming June 2010

  • ESPN 3D coming June 2010

  • Tim Wilson

    January 6, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    A few people mentioned sports as a maybe, but only sometimes, place for 3D. The sports world disagrees.

    Even before major live-action features, people were filling theaters for 3D sports – the NBA All-Star game has been live in theaters since 2007. They’ve done other live 3D events, including a new one this Valentines Day.

    ESPN in particular has been working on 3D for two years. Their first peeks/peaks started hitting last year. X-Games 3D played for a full week in August, and Ohio St. vs. USC in September.

    The overwhelming response has led to their creation of an all 3D network, starting with the World Cup. They’ve committed to at least 85 live events in their first year.

    Here’s the business part: they’ve only committed to the first year, while they continue to tweak the business model. People have said that they’ll definitely pay more, but how MUCH more depends on the specific content. In the meantime, ESPN will have to have 2 crews on hand for all of these events – one 2D, one 3D.

    Their observation was also that this is EXACTLY where they were 6 years ago with HD. Nothing could downconvert in real time, so they had to have 2 full crews. I’m sure you’ve noticed that in some venues, alternate angle replay cameras still don’t have HD feeds coming off them…but it still mostly works.

    Also worth noting: 6 years later, it’s not everywhere, but HD is far from a gimmick. Producers have established that every kind of content looks better in HD than it did in SD. That’s reason enough to do it.

    (Also also worth noting – porn has actually been bringing up the rear…ha ha…in HD. That stuff about porn driving Blu-ray adoption or anything else? Nonsense. Makes a good story, but the dollars say otherwise.)

    This is exactly how it’s going to happen, though. Sports first. The Super Bowl remains the most-watched broadcast in the entire world. There’s an enormous of sponsor money – even in a “down” year, 2009 saw record buys. People in sports know how to make money.

    The endgame of course is that the window for charging extra for HD is just about closed. Time Warner gives HD for free. My regional system doesn’t charge for HD, and they only charge an extra $3/month for an HD DVR. I can live with that. The people who still DO charge extra for HD are charging less and less for it.

    That has not always been true of course, but it is now. My point is that, at exactly the point that there’s widespread acceptance that this is for real, is exactly the point that people will stop paying extra for anything but the TV set.

    Or not. At CES, Vizio is showing 3D HD LCDs…for the same price as 2D HD LCDs. No paying extra….even if large LCDs are pricey. The point is that they’re alone in this now…but they won’t be for long.

    Get used to it. Nobody cares that you or I think that this is a gimmick. They don’t care that you or I don’t think it’s appropriate or interesting for every kind of programming. The first content is coming. The platforms are coming. And for the highest demand content in the world, it begins coming together in a just a few months….even if it will be a few years before it comes together the way HD has.

    PS. My vote for best primetime 3D first mover is American Idol. Say what you want about the music or social impact, but their Hollywood studio offers the most dynamic live production anywhere on TV, with a gorgeous stage and top-notch camera work. It’s the Super Bowl of weekly TV – nobody else touches it for either audience or sponsor dollars. People will watch it in 3D.

  • Mark Suszko

    January 6, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    I’ve never watched American Idol. Okay, I watched fifteen minutes of it once, the first season it came out, to see what the fuss was about. Not since. Then again, I have a life:-)

    As far as “adult viewing:, 3d may be different in regards to that than HD there; if you thought viewers found it disturbing to see their news anchor’s facial blemishes and wrinkles in suoper sharp detail on HD, well… you can make your own extrapolation as to areas where more is not necessarily better.

    Sports makes the most sense to me for 3-d. Concerts or theatricals second. Cooking shows, probably, travel shows, oh yes. Dance? Yep. Sitcoms? Daily news? Talk shows? I don’t see a point there.

  • Mark Suszko

    January 6, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    BTW, Tim, did you not get my personal email last week? Reply off-site, please.

  • Nick Griffin

    January 6, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Thanks for the informed update, Tim.

    Kind of makes me glad that I’m not a sports shooter. While the long lens stuff will likely be OK, the really great shots in 3D will be those shot very close to the action. Wouldn’t want to be the guy getting up close and personal with pro football games. Should be quite the dramatic development for those overhead wire-based cams though.

  • walter biscardi

    January 6, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Yep, saw the article this morning, even tweeted it. (twittered it? twit it? twit? your idea here)

    Couple that with FX Factory releasing a 3D plug-in and pretty soon 3D will be the norm….

    Walter Biscardi, Jr.
    Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author.
    HD Post and Production
    Biscardi Creative Media

    “Foul Water, Fiery Serpent” now in Post.

    Creative Cow Forum Host:
    Apple Final Cut Pro, Apple Motion, Apple Color, AJA Kona, Business & Marketing, Maxx Digital.



  • walter biscardi

    January 6, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    They’re calling it the first 24/7 3D channel.

    Walter Biscardi, Jr.
    Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author.
    HD Post and Production
    Biscardi Creative Media

    “Foul Water, Fiery Serpent” now in Post.

    Creative Cow Forum Host:
    Apple Final Cut Pro, Apple Motion, Apple Color, AJA Kona, Business & Marketing, Maxx Digital.



  • Christopher Wright

    January 7, 2010 at 3:42 am


    Dual 2.5 G5, IO, Kona LH, IO, Medea Raid, UL4D, NVidia 6800, 4Gig RAM
    Nehalem Octocore 12 GB Ram, Nvidia card, MBP, MXO, MXO2 mini, Windows Vista Adobe Studio CS4, Vegas 9.0, Lightwave 9.6, Sound Forge 9, Acid Pro 7, Continuum 6, Boris Red 4, Combustion 2008, Sapphire Effects

  • Tim Wilson

    January 7, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    National Geographic was an early adopter of HD, and said that they’re in on 3D too.

    Not that Discovery might not have forced a Nat Geo announcement.

    Lotso other 3D news from CES that I’ll be posting elsewhere, but one business element came screaming out at me. When the first all-HD network went up, people had already bought between 1 and 2 million HD sets.

    There are already between 100 and 150 million 3D-ready sets in people’s homes.

    Wow. Pretty solid platform to start from.

  • Ron Lindeboom

    January 7, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    [Tim Wilson] “There are already between 100 and 150 million 3D-ready sets in people’s homes.”

    Yes, our 42″ flat-screen is a couple of years old and it works very well for 3D. In fact, when I set-it up and watched Coraline on it, which was our first 3D DVD we ever watched at home, it was remarkable.

    I would have preferred something other than the anaglyph red-blue glasses but we got used to it pretty quick and of the many who have watched it on our set-up, no one has gotten a headache or complained about it.

    In fact, most of the people who have visited and seen it, ask me for a mini-lesson on how to set it up and what they need to do on their own TVs.

    Ron Lindeboom

  • Doug Collins

    January 7, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    SD, HD, 3D… step?? Holographic TV!

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