Because of the cost, Carter said he's mainly sampled free 3D movie trailers provided on demand by his cable TV company. A trailer for the latest "Transformers" movie didn't make him more enthused. "One of the robots pops out at you, and it felt forced." He said that 3D effects aren't noticeable much of the time. While he said he's not knocking the technology, he's disappointed with the way it's being used.
"Avatar" was supposed to change everything. Enthusiastic television executives expected the movie to spur 3D's transition to American living rooms, boosting sales of TVs and, they hoped, getting people to pay for 3D channels.
TV distributors now don't charge specifically for channels like ESPN 3D. But 3D channels are only "free" if you're already paying up for a pricey package. They're bundled with add ons like HD service and high definition digital video recorders. For a DirecTV subscriber, for example, that means a $200 high definition digital video recorder and $10 per month for HD service.
ESPN 3D is one of nine 3D channels that launched in the years following the late New Era Mlb
"We've learned with every passing day that we were ahead of the curve further than we thought we were," said Bryan Burns, the business leader for ESPN 3D. "We hit the on ramp earlier than we realized at the time."
But he can only guess how well his shows resonate with viewers. That's because 3D audiences are so small they can't be measured by Nielsen's rating system.
Orlins' problem is that fewer than 115,000 American homes are tuned into 3D channels at any one time. That's less than a hundredth Chicago Bulls Caps of the 20.2 million strong audience that saw television's highest rated show, "NCIS," this week.
Sluggish demand for 3D on TV has caused programmers to hit pause on rolling out new shows and channels.
3D TV no hit with viewers
unable to capture any meaningful data about viewers' programming preferences.
homes are tuned into 3D channels at any one timeESPN 3D is most aggressive network in shooting original 3D productions
LOS ANGELES (AP) Phil Orlins knows everything about producing TV in three dimensions. The ESPN producer has captured the undulating greens of Augusta National and the flying motor bikes of the X Games for ESPN's 3D channel. Nike Hats Tumblr Girls
A 3D TV contains a high tech chip and software that translates 3D video feeds into the right and left eye images that create the 3D effect for people wearing the right glasses. In some cases, special glasses can cost an extra $50 or so.
"There's very little direct consumer demand" for 3D, said Tom Morrod, a TV technology analyst with IHS in London. "They don't see a value with it. Consumers associate value right now with screen size and very few other features."
All that for the privilege of watching 3D at home in your pajamas.
"The feedback on The Masters was fast and furious. You could go on Twitter at any moment, and there'd be comments coming in every minute about 3D coverage," said Orlins while giving a tour of a production truck at this summer's X Games. "But then you go to some other events where it's pretty quiet."
That never happened. are able to show 3D programming, according to the most recent data from research firm IHS Screen Digest. That's about 6.9 million sets out of 331 million. After this year's Christmas buying rush, IHS expects the number of 3D capable televisions in homes to jump to 19.3 million, mostly because many new larger TVs automatically include the technology. If you're in the market for a big screen TV, you're likely to wind up with 3D, too. Even so, 3D TVs will amount to fewer than 6 percent of all sets.
3D viewership is so tiny that The Nielsen Co.'s methods are New Era La Dodgers
In June, DirecTV turned its 24 hour channel, n3D, into a part time network that only shows special event programming like the Olympics, in part to avoid the heavy use of reruns caused by a lack of new material. Last year, AT dropped ESPN 3D from its lineup, saying the $10 per month cost to subscribers wasn't justified given low demand.
2009 release of James Cameron's "Avatar." The 3D blockbuster won three Oscars and ranks as the highest grossing film of all time, garnering $2.8 billion at the global box office.
Watching home movies on disc requires a 3D Blu ray player that can cost another $120, and each set of 3D Blu ray discs costs about $27, according to IHS.
At movie theaters, 3D has attracted lots of viewers. But not at home. There's a supply problem: 3D TV is expensive to produce, so there's not a lot of it. Of the content out there, some isn't very good. There's an equipment problem: Some people find the special glasses required for 3 D TV uncomfortable. And there's a money problem: Many wonder if it's worth the extra cost. A 3D TV tends be more expensive because 3D is one feature common to TVs with bigger screens. It is usually grouped with other upgrades that matter more to consumers, including motion smoothing technology and light emitting diodes that are more energy efficient and display color contrast better than traditional liquid crystal display sets.
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