If you were wondering exactly how long it would take before 3D content
caught up with 3D hardware, it's around a year or so. When 3DTVs started
shipping, many consumers were hesitant to buy one; after all, what good
is a 3D TV if there's no 3D content to consume? Not very worthwhile at
all, as it turns out. But now, 3D Blu-rays are starting to ship en
masse, and select 3D sports stations are bringing more and more events
into the homes of users (ESPN 3D comes to mind).
But there still was no dedicated 3D channel, until today. Sony and
Discovery have teamed up with IMAX
to launch 3NET, which is described as
the first 24/7 3D television network, and it'll be launching in the
U.S. next week on DirecTV
. 3NET will run an awful lot of re-runs at
first, but the same kind of thing happened on HDNET when it was a new
channel. Eventually, so much HD material became available that HDNET
could just pick whatever it wanted to run. We suspect these companies
are hoping for the same type of TV revolution.
We always knew that Sony was a huge proponent for 3D, and now it's
making sense; if they had this working in the background, no wonder they
were pushing to get people hooked early on. The channel plans to debut
premieres every night throughout the first month of launch, and it will
live at 8:00 PM ET on DIRECTV (channel 107) with a primetime slate
featuring world premieres of new, one-hour, native 3D original programs
CHINA REVEALED and FORGOTTEN PLANET, in addition to the world 3D
television premiere of INTO THE DEEP 3D. Throughout February, the
network will offer an unprecedented rollout of original 3D series and
new program debuts every night at 9:00 PM ET.
SONY, DISCOVERY AND IMAX TO LAUNCH 3NET, THE 24/7 3D TELEVISION NETWORK,
IN THE U.S. FEBRUARY 13, 2011 ON DIRECTV
-- Network to Debut Premieres Every Night Throughout February --
February 10, 2011 – Culver City, Calif. – 3net, the joint venture television network from Sony Corporation, Discovery Communications and IMAX Corporation today announced that DIRECTV will be the first distributor to launch 3net, the 24/7 3D network, beginning February 13, 2011. 3net will initially be available to millions of DIRECTV customers across the country.
3net will go live at 8:00 PM ET on DIRECTV (channel 107) with a primetime slate featuring world premieres of new, one-hour, native 3D original programs CHINA REVEALED and FORGOTTEN PLANET, in addition to the world 3D television premiere of INTO THE DEEP 3D. Throughout February, the network will offer an unprecedented rollout of original 3D series and new program debuts every night at 9:00 PM ET.
3net will deliver compelling, native 3D content to the marketplace and thus serve as a critical driver for consumer adoption of in-home 3D entertainment. The partnership's commitment to the emerging 3D market is historic, with plans for the channel to offer viewers the largest library of native 3D entertainment content in the world by the end of 2011.
“Today’s announcement marks the culmination of a dynamic collaboration, and we are very proud of what has been accomplished in the seven short months since the network began its development,” said Tom Cosgrove, 3net’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “DIRECTV is the leader in meeting consumer demand for video entertainment and has clearly been an industry innovator in 3D. We are proud to partner with DIRECTV on this historic launch and bring compelling, original 3D programming and key content from our partners to DIRECTV subscribers across the country on a 24/7 basis.”
“Quality 3D programming is vital to the success and increased adoption of the technology, and with industry leaders like Discovery, Sony and IMAX making a commitment to this category, it is clear that 3D is here to stay and is only going to get better,” said Derek Chang, executive vice president, Content Strategy and Development, DIRECTV. “We are excited to be the first distributor to announce the launch of 3net and we look forward to continuing to provide our customers with the largest and most compelling 3D programming lineup available.”
“The broad availability of high-quality, native 3D content is a critical step towards consumers fully embracing 3D,” said Rob Wiesenthal, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Sony Corporation of America. “Beginning February 13, a deep and diverse array of great 3D programming will be available in the home 24 hours a day. 3net is an important element in our strategy to maintain a leadership position in all things 3D.”
“Discovery’s business strategy has always focused on delivering groundbreaking content through new platforms and technologies. The launch of 3net represents a giant leap in our march to bring audiences the closest-to-real viewing experiences,” said David Zaslav, President and CEO, Discovery Communications.
“3net brings together three global brands with a single mission – to deliver premium 3D entertainment experiences to audiences in the comfort of their own homes,” said Richard L. Gelfond, CEO of IMAX. “We are proud to embark on this new venture with Sony and Discovery, and we believe that our popular library of breathtaking IMAX content is in great company with the range of compelling programming from our partners.”
3net Premiere Night Schedule (all times Eastern):
CHINA REVEALED (8:00 PM)
China’s beauty is little seen, often hidden and always surprising. This hour-long series explores the thronging cities, epic vistas and spiritual heartlands of this huge and mysterious nation in stunning 3D. Produced by Natural History New Zealand Ltd.
INTO THE DEEP 3D (9:00 PM)
This IMAX special takes audiences on a spectacular three-dimensional exploration of the undersea world. Using the IMAX 3D camera in its underwater housing for the first time, this film captures unique marine life and magnificent underwater vistas.
FORGOTTEN PLANET (10:00 PM)
Explore the strangest places on earth – once vibrant cities now completely devoid of all humanity. This series of one-hour programs imagines the world humans will one day leave behind by exploring what we’ve already abandoned. Produced by Flight 33 Productions.
DIRECTV delivers more 3D programming than any other distributor with its suite of dedicated 3D channels. DIRECTV HD customers received a free software upgrade that enables them to have access to the 3D channels on DIRECTV. DIRECTV HD customers will need a 3D television set and 3D glasses to view 3D programming on DIRECTV. For more information on DIRECTV’s 3D programming platform, please visit: www.DIRECTV.com/3D.
The only problem is access: if you don't have DirecTV, you can't watch.
We have all ideas that 3NET is currently in discussions with all of the
other major carriers, but obviously no carriage agreements have been
reached yet. We're guessing that will change in the coming months,
though. You can only resist the bandwagon but for so long.