ESPN announced this week that it will drop its 3D channel (ESPN 3D) due to the lack of interest. ESPN launched the 3D channel back in 2010 for the FIFA World Cup along with golf and the NBA Finals. But it seems that wasn't enough keep the channel afloat. AT&T U-Verse, one of the launch partners, dropped the channel in August 2011 but said it would come back because of new agreements signed at the beginning of the year.
Was it a lack of subscriptions to the channel that led the network to drop 3D, or was it something else? Multichannel News reported that the decision was due to the recent lay-offs at parent company Disney, which included jobs associated with ESPN 3D. According to a statement, ESPN says it will be "committing our 3D resources to other products and services that will better serve fans and affiliates." Those services will most likely be 4K capabilities planned for the new facility in Bristol, CT. In the meantime, ESPN is willing to bring back 3D if and when the market is fully developed or glasses-free 3D TVs become commonplace.
3D is still getting mixed feedback from consumers. Of course, consumers purchasing a new display will most likely end up getting 3D capability as this has become a standard feature in most sets. But the most popular content being watched on most 3D TVs is movies, not broadcast television. Is that the problem? I think so. I also believe there is much room for improvement in 3D. I am not 100% for 3D, but I must admit I still get excited when a new flick surfaces promising an amazing 3D experience. It can only get better. Broadcast TV hasn't made the cut yet.
Behind the scenes, glasses-free 3D flat panels are increasing substantially around the world. In the last few months, a dozen companies have launched glasses-free flat panels in all areas of the market. From consumer TVs to commercial digital-signage displays, it's happening. Time will tell the true fate of 3D.
Wearing glasses to watch TV—I don't see that happening. Maybe 3D should be left for special occasions, such as movie night. What do you think?