With the State of Origin is over and the FIFA World Cup about to finish, what will be next for 3D TV broadcasting in Australia?
In the past two months, there has been a lot of hype surrounding 3D TV, with Fox Sports the first broadcaster ever to bring a 3D live sporting event to Australian screens on May 24, followed by Channel Nine two days later with the first State of Origin.
In total, three State of Origin games were broadcast in 3D on a special trial 3D free to air channel under a two month temporary license arrangement. A total of 15 World Cup Soccer games were presented in 3D on the same channel, and thanks to an agreement with Foxtel, they were also able to be seen through pay TV allowing many in areas not able to receive the 3D free to air channel to view the events. Also broadcast in 3D was one French Open tennis match, and a soccer friendly between Australia and New Zealand.
But with the free to air 3D channel’s trial run due to end July 19, what next for 3D TV in Australia? More 3D TV’s are being released to the market – LG’s Infinia and much publicised Sony models about to hit stores – without regular broadcast content being available and little in the way of 3D on Bluray, take up may be slow.
Even before Nine and Harvey Norman announced the State of Origin in 3D, Ten were considering the idea of 3D citing they would need more spectrum to be able to offer 3D TV. Just after Nine’s first broadcast event, Seven announced they too were looking into the prospect of 3D for events like the ALF Grand Final, the Melbourne Cup and the Bathurst 1000. Recently, Ten have suggested the three commercial broadcasters work together and share the expense of providing 3D events in a single joint venture rather than each going it alone.
So far, however, there have been no announcements from any broadcaster of future definite events to be covered in 3D. This means, that once the temporary 3D channel on both Free to air and Foxtel are switched off for now, there will be no broadcast of 3D content until such time one of the broadcasters commits to airing an event in 3D.
After such high momentum over the past two months, the lack of future 3D events will only add to those who believe 3D is nothing more than a fad and will not go further than random trial and one off broadcasts.