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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

January 5, 2010 at 1:00 PM

CES: 3D networks from ESPN, Discovery

You’ll be able to watch more than “Avatar” and “Up” on the new 3D televisions being unveiled this week at CES.

TV networks are lining up to offer all sorts of 3D content later this year, including ESPN. Disney’s sports network is going to launch “ESPN 3D” in June and broadcast at least 85 sporting events in 3D in the first year, according to this USAToday report.

The article notes that you may need a new set-top box to get the 3D broadcasts, and there may be a premium charge for the extra dimension. That may be hard to digest if you’re already paying a premium for high-def, but sports fans are used to ponying up for the latest broadcast services.

From the article:

Paul Liao, CEO of the CableLabs consortium of cable operators, says that while 3D movies are paramount to the success of 3D in the home, live sports “will engage the consumer to a degree that has been unprecedented.”

ESPN’s debut 3D event will be a June 11 World Cup soccer match. Sony and FIFA announced Dec. 3 that they’re working together to broadcast matches in 3D.

Sony’s also working with the Discovery Communications and Imax to produce a 3D network that will begin broadcasting in 2011. They disclosed details today, ahead of Sony’s CES press conference on Wednesday, according to this New York Times report.

David Zaslav, the chief executive of Discovery Communications, said in an interview that the 3D move is part of “this overall quest that we’re on for closest-to-real.”

“With Sony promoting it on their sets and Imax promoting it in the theaters, and all of us contributing content, we think we can have something that will be pretty strong for consumers,” Discovery Chief Executive David Zaslav told the paper.

Comments | Topics: 3D, 3D TV, CES

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