With the recent launch of 3net and ESPN 3D, two 24-hour television networks, the 3-D experience can now be brought to the comfort of your home.
Despite 3net CEO Tom Cosgrove’s ambition for the network’s launch to increase adoption of this technology, some local experts believe it will take much more than that to bring the 3-D craze from theaters to American households.
UF economics professor Mark Rush said if 3-D TV gains popularity, it won’t happen overnight.
The companies producing the networks face “the chicken or the egg” problem, Rush said, adding that more networks need to be developed in order for consumers to buy the product.
If enough networks make the switch, supply and demand will increase, eventually forcing the price down, he said. But until the price drops, he believes the average college student may have only one other mean of attaining the state-of-the-art system — parents.
“When I look at the parking lot where UF students park, I check out some of the cars,” he said. “The students may not have a great deal of income themselves, but their folks do, and their folks are certainly willing to buy them 3-D TVs if they become popular and if that’s what students want.”
3net, the first 24/7-dedicated 3-D network to launch in the U.S., debuted at 8 p.m. on Feb. 13.
ESPN 3D, the U.S. television industry’s first exclusive 3-D network, expanded its program lineup to show content 24 hours a day on Feb. 14.
With only two 24/7 stations available, the price of the technology is costly for the amount of content available, said David Ostroff, a UF professor of media technology.
“You’re asking someone to pay $2,500 to watch two channels, and unless they’re a sports person or a nature fan, it’s kind of limited,” Ostroff said.
While reports have shown that the launch of the 3-D networks have shown positive reviews, Ostroff said it’s crucial for new networks to create programs with content that lends itself to 3-D.
Rush said only time will tell if 3-D home entertainment will catch on in the U.S.
“Three or four years from now, we’ll be able to look back and say, ‘Passing fancy. Nobody watches it,’ or, ‘Wow, how did we ever get by without this?’” he said.