Friday, March 05, 2010

The Next Big Thing

Back in January, we talked on this blog about 3-D and its potential impact on television sports. At that point, it was still something of an untested fad, which to a large degree it still is. However, just two months later the promise of 3-D seems much farther along.

Much of it has been driven by consumer interest. After running some test broadcasts (including the 2010 Rose Bowl), ESPN convened some focus groups who absolutely loved the picture. Apparently, the difference in picture quality is even more pronounced than going from standard definition to HD.

Yes, consumers will have to buy those funky 3-D glasses, and the technology will also require new 3-D capable receivers, currently priced upwards of $3,000. But remember, HD sets were just as pricey when they debuted; undoubtedly, the cost of the 3-D receivers will decline as the technology becomes more accepted and available.

But the biggest thing is the picture quality, which according to focus group respondents who watched a Harlem Globetrotters game in 3-D, made them feel like they were standing on the court. With that kind of enthusiasm, there's almost no price too high for sports television consumers.


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