3net Sees Growing Potential in 3D

Tom Cosgrove, president of 3net, said that 3D would not replace HD, but that the two technologies would complement each other

At the 7th Annual Digital TV Summit in London (Dec. 6-7), it was clear that 3DTV is still a technology to be reckoned with. During a Keynote address entitled “Pioneering the small-screen 3D experience,” Tom Cosgrove, president of 3net — the joint venture between Discovery Communications, IMAX and Sony — predicted that one out of every two new TVs sold in the U.S. by 2014 would be 3D compatible. He also said that 3D would not replace HD, but that the two technologies would complement each other, as the new generation of sets can display both types of broadcasts.

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While in the U.S. 3net is available exclusively as a single channel from DirecTV (and from Sky in Europe), for the rest of the world the company said it will pursue a different business model: serving as a distributor of 3D content for others to rebroadcast — licensing its programming (it has 80-percent ownership of all content) as branded blocks or single special events. Cosgrove said the company’s initially stated goal of having the world’s largest library of 3D content by the end of this year is still on track. In December, the network will broadcast 50 hours of new stereoscopic 3D content. It also now calls itself the leading producer (“creator”) of 3D content.

Cosgrove also said that there would be 160 million 3D sets sold worldwide by 2015, which he said is “light years ahead” of where HD was at this early stage of its evolution.

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Also at the Digital TV Summit, Roger Mosey, BBC director of London Olympics 2012, said it plans to deliver some coverage of next year’s Olympic Games in 3D, although he did not specify how much. The BBC is not the host broadcaster for the Games of the XXX Olympiad, London 2012. Olympic Broadcasting Services, created by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in May 2001 is, and will design, build, install, operate and then dismantle the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) on site. The games will run from July 27 to August 12.

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