The availability of new content could help encourage adoption of the technology. Representatives from LG, Sony, and ESPN detailed plans to create more 3-D content at the display conference.
In February, ESPN began offering 3-D content 24 hours a day on its 3-D channel. Xfinity and DirecTV also launched 3-D channels this year. “Cable distribution is key,” says Bryan Burns, a vice president at ESPN. In 2010, there were only about 40 3-D Blu-ray movie titles available, according to DisplaySearch, and it will take time to build that up.
Burns says ESPN has learned many lessons in the year since it launched its 3-D channel. “We’re working hard on our production costs,” he says. At first, the network used two production teams to film 2-D and 3-D content, which doubled the production costs. Now they use what they call a “5-D” production system that more closely integrates the equipment and crew needed for filming both.
Several companies, including LG, also now offer 3-D TV sets that work with more comfortable, battery-free glasses. Unlike previous types of glasses, these also work when a user tilts his or her head.
“Auto-stereoscopic [glasses-free] 3-D won’t be here for a long time,” says Mike Abary, a senior VP at Sony.