On-demand 3D-HDTV: Broadcasting killer by the decade end

Summary:3DTV showed off at CES 2010 along with high-definition and on-demand programming, broadcasting is facing its final curtain call. Opinion

CES 2010 has introduced television in 3D into the wider public eye, something that has only really been seen before in cinema and IMAX theatres. With special glasses which transfer images from one eye to the other, along with camcorders which take in two images instead of one, the technology is there and ready to be used. Whilst still incredibly expensive for the consumer, the broadcasters could snap it up as a future investment.

3DTV would still work best in an on-demand environment, as opposed to being told by the upcoming broadcast to route around the house looking for the family set of 3D glasses. Along with a massive increase in on-demand television, IPTV and a huge expansion in Blu-ray technology, ordinary broadcast television may not see it through to the end of the decade.

There is hope though. Dedicated 3D channels are soon to start in 2011 with an IMAX experience to be brought to the home, along with rolling 24-hour news channels still needing to be broadcast as the news breaks; these two developments are the only things holding broadcast television up.

Sky+ and TiVo, along with super-fast broadband brought to the homes with cable companies offering their streaming services to let you watch what you want, when you want it, broadcasting is facing its rivals.

Since 2008 when I first mentioned the subject, a huge amount has changed as high-definition television sales rocket and broadcasters back up their programming with on-demand television.

But the BBC notes that 3DTV has no industry format standard been agreed upon yet, highlighting the possibility of a HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray style format war on the horizon.

But bigger televisions with OLED technology for brighter, richer displays, on-demand is becoming more and more promising. High-definition 3DTV probably wouldn't even come close to standing up on the broadcasting wavelengths as it is, so the Internet has to be the pipe that feeds the viewing public.

Most of the television I watch is upstairs in my office and on my computer. My 32" LCD TV downstairs is only to watch the BBC News and the remaining time it's streaming content through my media center extender.

Perhaps the end of the 9 to 5 working day has killed of television broadcast. We used to be stuck with what was on the terrestrial channels but now with our lives blurring between work and home life, we choose to watch what we want and when we want to, and not have it dictated by the broadcaster.

Will on-demand 3D HDTV be the revolution in television experiences?

Topics: Data Centers, Cloud, Hardware, Mobility

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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