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Revealed: the truth about the future of 3D TV

We separate the hope from the hype of 3D TV

As the 3D TV hype continues to flow, we separate the hope from the hype when it comes to this latest technology.

There are also technical challenges. Producing 3D requires "fundamentally new skills", Lenz said.

"Things like panning and how you zoom and frame; there's going to be a fairly steep learning curve that everyone who's new to 3D is going to go through. So for all the excitement, expect some speed bumps in the road."

Like other broadcasters, ESPN's commitment to 3D will depend on finding a cost-effective way to produce it alongside 2D content.

"The biggest deal for us is to get 3D and 2D produced from the same truck. If we can't do that it might be a long putt for us to stay with it," Bailey said.

Lenz argued that the relative scarcity of content may actually be an advantage, because it will help ensure what's available is of high quality.

"The idea isn't to watch every show in 3D, just the content that will benefit from it, such as movies, games and big sporting events."

"Once you see it, you get it," Panasonic's Tsuyuzaki promised. "It will take off a lot more quickly than a lot of people expect."

But there's consumer education to be done first. Some people are under the mistaken impression that they'll need special glasses to watch even 2D content on a 3D TV, said Rick Dean, chairman of the 3D Home Consortium.

"There's every opportunity for massive confusion," he acknowledged.

See also: Sony: 3DTV to go mainstream in 2012

  1. 3D TV: We separate the hope from the hype
  2. 3D TV: Technical challenges

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