Some ideas just seem better on paper than in reality which may be the case for at-home 3D television. It’s still too early to know for sure but when one of the first major networks that signed on to broadcast 3D programming decides to pull the plug due to low adoption, it’s not a good sign.
The network in question is ESPN which aired their first live sporting event in 3D back in June 2010 with the 2010 FIFA World Cup’s opening match. The company went on to air non-stop 3D sports coverage in early 2011 and has been doing it ever since.
ESPN spokesperson Katina Arnold revealed on Twitter earlier today that the company is discontinuing EPSN 3D due to low adoption of 3D at home. Moving forward, ESPN said they will focus on other products for fans and affiliates. Those “other products” include UltraHD or 4k broadcasting which could upend 3D-enabeld sets as the new “it” thing when its ready for prime time.
A network spokesperson told The Verge that nobody knows more about sports in 3D than ESPN and they will be ready to provide the service once again if and when 3D takes off. In the interim, the service is expected to shut down by the end of this year, we’re told.
Manufacturers have been selling plenty of 3D-capable television sets over the past few years but they are just now starting to release 4k-enabled sets. Once the price of these high resolution displays come down, adoption and support will likely rise - hopefully to higher levels than 3D has reached thus far.