On December 17th, the NBA will take a major technological step, broadcasting a game in 3D, for the first time ever. The game will be between the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat and will be broadcast by ESPN. The worldwide leader in sports will show a total of eight regular-season games in 3D this season, and another six 3D games during the 2011 playoffs.
Of course, in order to watch these games in 3D, viewers will need to have 3D televisions, which are still very new to the market. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, only 500,000 3-D television sets have been shipped to dealers to-date.
Is 3D television something that can catch on and make it big? Unlike the upgrade to HD, plasma and LCD televisions, 3D is something that viewers will likely spend a lot of time investigating and trying out before purchasing. 3D is such a major change – that can alter the entire viewing experience – that viewers must be sure they like it and want to use it, before committing to purchasing a new TV, especially when they probably already have a really nice HDTV in their living room already. However, if the popularity of 3D at the movies is any preview for what will happen, it should catch on.
Furthermore, this move by ESPN and the NBA shows that there will be a major push in delivering 3D technology to viewers. But will this be something that’s limited to sports and movies, or will prime-time television shows jump into 3D also? It’s something to keep a close eye on.