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Sony, IMAX, Discovery To Launch 3D TV Network 218

Posted by kdawson
from the you're-our-only-hope dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "In a surprising endorsement for 3D display technology, Sony Corp. of America, Discovery Communications and IMAX Corp. have announced plans to form a US television network entirely devoted to 3D programming. The three parties have signed a letter of intent to form the unnamed venture, which is scheduled to launch in 2012. The new network is intended as a sort of carrot to lure buyers to purchase 3D-enabled TVs." Reader jggimi notes NY Times coverage, which points out that this prospective network won't be the first: "Earlier Tuesday, ESPN announced that it would start 'ESPN 3D' in June 2010. The channel will show a minimum of 85 live 3D events during the first year."
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Sony, IMAX, Discovery To Launch 3D TV Network

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  • Lame start... (Score:4, Informative)

    by LostCluster (625375) * on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @07:32PM (#30663350)
    They don't seem to be breaking much ground with this. It was already known that the World Cup going to be shot in 3D... ESPN is basically saying they'll make that feed available in the USA because they own the English-language TV rights. Could we please have Sunday Night Baseball and Monday Night Football in 3D?
  • Party like it's 1999 (Score:4, Informative)

    by LostCluster (625375) * on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @07:38PM (#30663424)

    This is about the point where HD was in 1999. Announced, but not quite online yet and only limited programs are being broadcast. Channels are so light on content they sign off rather than take up bandwidth when they've got nothing to show. This will make more sense when the devices are out and priced like an HD set is today... we're just not there yet.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      ... we're just not there yet.

      And we never will be unless someone bites the bullet and starts publishing 3D content. I have a feeling that the adoption curve for 3D television will be much quicker than that of HD television since the latter relied on scaling up the world's LCD production facilities.

    • by jez9999 (618189)

      Am I the only one who doesn't give much of a shit about 3d TV content? Woo, so some things seem a bit more foregroundy and others a bit more backgroundy... and I have to wear glasses all the time to see the effect.

      Then again, I haven't bought into the HDTV hype, either. Sure, it's higher resolution, but I don't care.

  • Which cam first
    the 3D TV or the 3D Network ?
    • Easy, the TV. Why? Because it's easy to implement with LED's, and we already have LED TV's. Even if no 3D programs are available (and with movies coming out in 3D at least DVD/blu-ray stuff should be soon...) some people will pay extra for the "3DTV" (or whatever) printed on the box.
  • Won't be needing 3D TV ... ever.
    Just saw my first full length film in 3D, and I don't need that in my house. It just doesn't add that much to the viewing experience.
    I'll be skipping blu-ray.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by LostCluster (625375) *
      We're starting to hit the point where those with damaged eyes who can see somewhat but not perfectly are getting lost. 3D is useless to the people who have lost depth perception... and HD requires a big enough TV for any additional pixels to be meaningful. At this pace, only teenagers will be subscribing to the highest definition TV services.
      • by peragrin (659227) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:05PM (#30663758)

        exactly 3D movies are useless for me as my eyes don't focus in the "right" way.

        I see some effects but just get a headache. I think it is some 5-10% of the population suffers from the same problem. That will limit any major 3D tv tech.

        • How is your depth perception generally? Are you okay with ball games like tennis?

          • by peragrin (659227)

            medicore. baseball, tennis, are tough. However I can play both acceptably. well as long as it is only as serious as who buys the beer.

        • by Col Bat Guano (633857) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @12:42AM (#30666002)

          7 - 10% of the population are left handed (wikipedia), but that doesn't stop almost all handed tools being right handed only.

          I think that companies would be prepared for 5 - 10% to be overlooked in the pursuit of new TV/home entertainment/3D-DVD sales...

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by feepness (543479)

          I see some effects but just get a headache. I think it is some 5-10% of the population suffers from the same problem. That will limit any major 3D tv tech.

          About 10% of the male population is colorblind. That still doesn't prevent half the video games that come out using purple/pink/red/cyan/dark blue/light blue as the major team colors.

    • by That's Unpossible! (722232) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:41PM (#30664094)

      Wow, you gave 3D an entire movie experience before deciding it's fate?

      And you're skipping blu-ray... uh huh. I'll come back to you in a year when you can't even find a non-bluray DVD player on the market any more.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        bluray will due. it has NO market acceptance. no, you geeks don't count, you don't buy enough of these.

        for everyone else (non geeks) dvd works, works fine, is cheap and plays everywhere.

        sorry, but fanboys of sony can claim that BD is here to stay but wait until sony wants to re-re-remilk the video market.

        you BD fans are the suckers, truly. a movie is a movie. it does NOT gain anything (in the storytelling) by being in so-called high def. its a sucker play and in this economy it will simply die, over ti

        • Most of the non-tech people I know bought HD and BlueRay players long before any tech people. They are the ones that believed the bestbuy / circuit city employee that they would see a difference while still using their non-hidef tvs...

          The non-geeks are always the ones that buy based on hype. They buy their players when they were still at their riduculous prices. Just like they purchased the xbox 360 and playstation 3 right away for 500+ (or 1500 plus for the people shopping on ebay.)

          The "geeks" know that

      • by roc97007 (608802)

        > And you're skipping blu-ray... uh huh. I'll come back to you in a year when you can't even find a non-bluray DVD player on the market any more.

        I'm wondering if this will be happening any time soon. I own a Blu-Ray player and a fairly large Sony Bravia, and I honestly can't see any significant visible difference between my blu-ray titles and a reasonably well-mastered DVD. And I'm fairly picky -- I never did go the VHS route, preferring to suffer with Laserdisc until DVD became available. Laserdis

        • by feepness (543479)

          What about Fred and Ethyl Six-Pack, who probably still have a tube set, or just got their first flat panel at Costco but have no idea how to set it up. Do their jaws drop the first time they see the blu-ray version of Bad Boys II? Of course not. I look forward to the day when Blu-Ray players are available for $34.99 at Wal-Mart, as DVD players are today. Fortunately, our DVDs will still play fine, and there will still be no reason to replace them with their Blu-Ray counterparts.

          I purchased a new TV in 2009 as well, and moved the old TV purchased in 2006 upstairs where we had none. My wife, a decided non-geek, noted with disappointment the quality difference on the downstairs set with the BluRay/PS3 player, and the upstairs set.

          I too tend to keep TVs for awhile (this is the first time I've actually had two). But I certainly don't expect that to hold other people back.

    • by Mad Quacker (3327) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @09:04PM (#30664296) Homepage

      Won't be needing 3D TV ... ever.
      Just saw my first full length film in 3D, and I don't need that in my house. It just doesn't add that much to the viewing experience.
      I'll be skipping blu-ray.

      Let me guess you have no depth perception and are partially blind? Watching Avatar in RealD 3D was quite an experience. It wasn't just me either, people were standing up in the theater trying to grab the RealD introduction out of the air. No flicker, no headaches, no red/blue tinting.

      I am not easily impressed.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by daath93 (1356187)
        Really? People trying to grab things from the air? I don't know if that is a testament to the 3D or the stupidity of the average theater goer in your area.
        • by bendodge (998616)

          I remember as a small boy seeing an IMAX short about astronauts. When they started tossing M&Ms in zero-g everyone grabbed at them. Most dramatic though was a helicopter shot. I actually reeled around in my chair. It seemed like the whole place was the chopper.

      • by LilGuy (150110)

        I saw avatar in 2d and enjoyed it. Then on christmas my family wanted to go see the 3d version so I tagged along. That was the first 3d movie I've ever seen without the red/blue glasses and I was blown away. I actually caught myself trying to swipe away some flaming ash from my face at one point and the best part was I didn't get a headache from watching it!

        If 3D tv is anything like that count me in!

    • by baptiste (256004)
      Agree 100% Saw Avatar in 3D. great movie, but would have enjoyed it just as much in 2D I expect. Have no desire to watch sitcoms or football or soccer with 3D glasses on. Just annoying. Ok for an occasional movie, but viewing at home? Meh - not until they can project it :)
      • by markdavis (642305)

        I thought that 3D added a *LOT* to Imax Avatar. It was extremely well done- visually. The story was so-so, but the visuals were beyond compare.

        Would I enjoy 3D HDTV? Sure- but only if the refresh were high, and only if they keep the bitrate up. As it is, the bitrate on Cox for HDTV is horrible, there are all kinds of artifacting on my 52" LCD. Over-the-air is *MUCH* better.

    • Just saw my first full length film in 3D, and I don't need that in my house. It just doesn't add that much to the viewing experience.
      I'll be skipping blu-ray.

      Why one man's opinion gets a mod-up to *3, Informative on Slashdot remains a mystery to me.

      Avatar [boxofficemojo.com] grossed $1 Billion US Dollars in eighteen days. Up delivered a very respectable $293 million. [boxofficemojo.com]

      I'll take that as evidence the 3D experience does matter.

    • That’s only you. To us it matters a lot. Sure, it does not replace anything else (like a good story), but it adds much.
      Maybe you only got one eye. Dunno. Are you a cyclops? Or is your name Leela?

      The real reason this will never ever come to TV, is because by the time it would be implemented, there will be no TV anymore. I mean half of the people I know already don’t have or use a TV anymore. And when they do, they just skip channels, rant that there’s nothing on, and turn the TV off again.

  • by Gizzmonic (412910) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @07:41PM (#30663476) Homepage Journal

    The first lineup has been announced, it will feature "Comin' Atcha!" "Think Fast!" and "Look Out, I'm Throwing Things At Your Head!"

    -with apologies to Michael Kupperman [twitter.com], the hilarious comic artist I stole that joke from

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by LostCluster (625375) *

      The first lineup has been announced, it will feature "Comin' Atcha!" "Think Fast!" and "Look Out, I'm Throwing Things At Your Head!"

      Last week's "Look Out, I'm Throwing Things At Your Head" was killer. This young guy was at the $1,000,000 dodge and still has his Hide In the Audience lifetime, but got too cocky and fell back to $25,000.

  • Yay headaches? :(

    Why is 3D somehow better? They cause eye strain, and the average house watches how many hours of TV a week? This might not just be a bad marketing gimmick -- it could actually be a public health hazard.

    • by broken_chaos (1188549) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @07:46PM (#30663534)

      Because it's IN THE THIRD DIMENSION!

      Also, it's a shame HTML doesn't have a <reverb> tag.

      • IN THE THIRD DIMENSION!

        TV watches you?

        I realise I only used part of the sentence, but it was almost begging to be used like that ;)

      • What does that have to do with HTML? HTML is a semantic language. This would be CSS’s task.

        But what you want is actually possible:
        1. Write it like this: Because it’s <em style="reverb: large hall">IN THE THIRD DIMENSION!</em>
        2. Write a Firefox extension that automatically scans the document for this, and does with it, what you think it should do.
        3. Get it into the CSS3 or CSS4 draft, so the Firefox team has to implement it natively. ^^

    • side of entertainment. 3d Video games can already provide the experience with a 3d monitor with little rewriting and so could the OS. Then there will be CAD like programs.

      I don't know why the industry is trying to push it from the TV side of things, 1st adopters are usually computer geeks. Push stuff out there and see if people want it.

      I like 3D movies, but until they have holograms down, I don't want to be watching TV with glasses or even see 3D all that much to begin with.

    • by markdavis (642305)

      3D does not cause eye strain nor headaches when it is done PROPERLY (like it was done with Avatar 3D Imax).

      Now, with 30/60Hz flicker-glasses, yeah, that could be an issue. And since that is the technology they will have to use with home TV, I am not overly optimistic... but I will reserve judgment until I experience it.

  • by FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @07:41PM (#30663482) Homepage
    You're tuned to the Headache Channel.
  • Seriously, this launch is a bit premature. Sure, such technologies exist, but with no market for it.

    Unless they're requiring red and blue glasses, no one can watch it in 3D -- 3D broadcasting requires 240hz televisions alongside enough shutter glasses to cover a 20+ person sports gathering.

    The American consumer is already tapped out on debt, since they maxed out their credit cards on flat-panel HDTVs in the age of subprime lending, and are probably only using them to watch low-res basic cable now that they

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by LostCluster (625375) *

      During the early days of HD, NESN (the Boston-area sports network with Red Sox games) rented out movie theaters and sold tickets to see the HD broadcast (complete with commercials) in the local movie theater for several away games. We'll likely see a repeat of this stunt by the 3D rights holders.

      The first HD broadcasts of a Space Shuttle launch were only available at Best Buy stores. No HD sets had been sold at that time, and Best Buy was rolling out the first unbranded disaster of an plasma HD set for $10,

    • Red-blue or shutters plus double frame rate aren't the only options. There's also differential polarization and double the resolution. All we have to do is turn half the LED's 90 degrees and enable the proper video format and polarized glasses will do the job of red-blue ones - except you lose the "polarization" channel and half the resolution instead of the "color" channel. And lets face it, you wouldn't notice if you lose your already tiny ability to discern polarization.
  • by StefanJ (88986) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @07:51PM (#30663610) Homepage Journal

    12:00 am to 6:30 am: 3D infomercials
    6:30 am: 3D National Anthem
    6:35 am: Scripture Study with Rev. Harlon Stereo
    6:45 am: Davey & Goliath in the Land of Three Dimensions
    7:00 am: Bwana Devil
    9:00 am: House of Wax
    11:00 am: Treasure of the Four Crowns
    1:00 pm: Pixar Trailer Compilation
    2:00 pm: House of Wax
    4:00 pm: 3D National News from the rim of the Grand Canyon
    6:00 pm: Simpsons 3D episode
    6:30 pm: Viewmaster Travelogue Presents: Beautiful Holland.
    7:00 pm: House of Wax
    9:00 pm: Stetson's Hangout (premiere) Sitcom featuring the wacky exploits of the Tosser Family. In this epiode, Stetson Tosser throws snakes, soiled diapers and a bowl of Jell-0 at the camera.
    9:30 pm: Lacrosse championships from Watertown, NY. In 3D.
    11:00 pm: Late News hanging from a platform on the side of the Empire State Building
    11:30 pm: Viewmaster Showcase: Bible Stories

  • Yawn. Fad is Over (Score:2, Insightful)

    by coaxial (28297)

    Ask yourself this: When was the last time you watched anything and said, "You know what? This is good, but it would better if it was in 3D."

    • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:34PM (#30664038) Journal

      Sorry, try your "I hate the future" speech a little bit more.

    • Avatar is what people are saying.

      • The IMAX in Melbourne is booked solid into next week for Avatar. I have never seen it more than 30% full in the 15 or so years it has been open.

    • Man, I know exactly what you mean! This reminds me of that lame device with "No wireless. Less space than a Nomad". [slashdot.org] Who the hell is going to buy that!?
    • by AlpineR (32307)

      Right now. I'm watching football (Orange Bowl) on my HDTV. This is good, but it would be better if it was in 3D.

      Also, nature documentaries. They're beautiful in HD, but they'd be even better in 3D.

      Whether I'd pay extra or wear uncomfortable glasses is another matter. But if I had the choice between 2D and 3D for those programs without significant cost or inconvenience, I'd choose 3D every time.

      That's the same phenomenon as color, stereo, high definition, and surround sound. At the time that each was introdu

    • Ask yourself this: When was the last time you watched anything and said, "You know what? This is good, but it would better if it was in 3D."

      There are three kinds of liars about porn:
      1) Those who say they've never seen any
      2) Those who say they tried it once, but didn't like it
      3) Those who say they've never thought about how awesome it would be in 3D.

  • by swschrad (312009) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:20PM (#30663920) Homepage Journal

    if you can stand Dr. Tongue's "3D House of Stewardesses," this has a chance. lame concept, will have lame execution, even lamer if they play "let's break the fourth wall."

  • by paiute (550198) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:52PM (#30664204)

    tThHiIsS iIsS tThHeE vVeErRyY fFiIrRsStT tThHrReEeE dD pPoOsStT

    cCaAuUtTiIoOnN mMaAyY cCaAuUsSeE nNaAuUsSeEaA

  • As a former Sony fanboi I have to say that if the 3D TVs are made by Sony then I _won't_ be buying one. If its a premium pay channel i won't be patronizing it. I am done with Sony and their shenanigans. They are malicious to their customers, They are rabid RIAA/MPAA attack dogs, And they lobby clueless US politicians relentlessly to criminalize normal behavior. And now they want to close the analog hole, intoduce DRM broadcast flags, etc. etc. FUCK Sony. They are ruthless bastards.
  • by Culture20 (968837) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @09:19PM (#30664434)
    Sorry to be a pedant, but it's only 3D when I can walk around the TV and see things from every angle. This is stereoscopic; "3D" from only one viewpoint by tricks of the eyes+brain.
    • Let's see... we want 1920x1080x1080 rectangular pixels... I think DirecTV could pull that off, if they'd just down all their SD, HD, and Internet offerings at the same time.
    • You're confusing rendering method with result. It's 3D when it gives the illusion of depth. What you're describing is "in the round", while the TV version is more like "bas relief". Both still fall under the category of 3D. The technique for delivering the 3D might be stereoscopy, but that doesn't invalidate the result.

    • Sorry, we only offer True3D(tm) in countries where ubiquitous camera coverage is available. This currently includes the UK, and some smaller countries such as Chicago.
    • Don’t forget being able to cut it with a arbitrary set of planes to an arbitrary shape, to see the inside.

      Hmmm... what shape configuration do I need, to remove Jessica Alba’s clothes? ^^

    • True.

      And your TV can only display yellow by tricks of the eyes+brain.

      My interpretation of what goes on is this: there's a red dot and a green dot close to each other. These emit intensity-equal streams of "red photons" and "green photons" (of appropriate wavelengths). Pairs of these hit neighbouring cones in your eye, the long-wavelength cone reacting to the red photon and the medium-wavelength cone reacting to the green photon.

      Your brain then (acts as if it) assumes the activations of the cones were due

  • Wouldn't it be great if somebody created a cam capture of Avatar 3D with one camera looking through the left lens of the glasses, and the other camera looking through the right lens? Then they could package them together in some format and people can watch them on existing 3D monitors that use glasses. I looked at some movie sites and they have Avatar "telesyncs" but no 3D versions, too bad. I wonder if any of the 3D TVs at CES will be showing Avatar, that would be good too.

    • I'm not quite sure why they went with blue people in the plot... wouldn't that kill red/blue 3D tech?
  • Is this /. ? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AmigaHeretic (991368) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @09:55PM (#30664778) Journal
    There's like a 100 posts and not single mention of 3D porn and not a single 3D porn joke.
  • Another fucking ESPN for me to be forced to pay for and never watch.

  • Well fuck (Score:4, Insightful)

    by riker1384 (735780) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @10:35PM (#30665146)
    Just when I caved and bought my 58-plasma, now they're gonna make it obsolete? Will this work on existing TVs?
    • Theoretically: Yes. But you would obviously have to give up half the visual bandwith. Which is OK e.g. if your TV does 100 (or 120) Hz, as then every second frame could go to the other eye. Use synchronized glasses and be done.

      A harder solution would be a foil that polarizes every second line of the screen differently. But getting it positioned properly would be a bitch.

      And finally, you can go with the hardest to get working (would need a special device), and also most crappy solution: Color hints. ;)

      But no

  • by feepness (543479) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @10:46PM (#30665270) Homepage
    The 3D effects were blurry and made me feel nauseous.

    Furthermore, everyone else in the theater was a nerd. Everyone but me had these big thick plastic glasses on.

    I really don't see what the hype was about.
  • I understand that the brain see's the 2 signals and puts them together to give the impression that an object is 3D.

    I'm curious to know what long term use of this would have on the brain. Will a brain try to rewire itself to see the 2 distinct images without the 3D "error"? Is this something that over generations will genetically change so that people can no longer use 3D televisions.

    I know that 3D televisions will probably be long obsolete before the genes could change to prevent the 3D effect.

    • by dch24 (904899)
      One thing it will probably do is gradually desensitize the inner ear. The brain connects very strongly the data from visual cues (slight motion) and the inner ear (acceleration that same motion). With 3D entertainment, the inner ear will be delivering completely "irrelevant" data.

      Playing first person games or watching lots of video may have already reduced your "motion sickness" response, but this will probably go a lot farther toward the final outcome.
  • 3D can’t be ripped over the analog hole, it requires digital connections, which have DRM in them, or which allows them to push through new hardware... for about five days, when someone cracks that too, and sticks the thing in a MKV container.

1 Mole = 007 Secret Agents

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