One of the continuing problems for those attempting to program 3-D television networks is the lack of available programming to fill channels. Now, 3net — a 3-D cable channeled owned by Sony, Discovery and IMAX — is not waiting around for others and will produce its own original content in the 3-D and 4K formats.
The company has established a new 3net Studios division that will build on its library of native 3-D content that 3net has been producing for its 24-hour 3D channel since its launch on February 13, 2011.
“With the industry now struggling to keep pace with the rapidly accelerating consumer demand for 3-D programming across multiple platforms ... the formation of a world-class production studio to help fill both the 3-D and ultra-high-definition content voids became a logical next step in our evolution as a global player in the entertainment arena,” Tom Cosgrove, president of 3net, told the Los Angeles Times.
The Times reported that the network’s production studios — based at the Sony Pictures headquarters in Los Angeles and at the Discovery Communications headquarters in Silver Spring, MD — would announce a slate of projects in the coming weeks. Launched in 2011, 3net currently carries a mix of nature and adventure programming. Its programs include “Safari Park Adventure” and “Forgotten Planet.” Programming from other channels owned by Discovery such as Animal Planet’s “Puppy Bowl” is also available in 3-D.
While Hollywood movie studios have embraced 3-D for feature films, the format has not yet taken hold for television. Many major distributors, including Time Warner Cable and Comcast, do not yet carry 3net. However, it is available on DirecTV.
The company calls it program format TotalD. It includes 3-D 4K, 3-D 2K and 3-D/2-D HD formats in order to serve both current and future entertainment platforms and partners worldwide.
“From television, mobile, computer and tablet companies, to broadcast channels and digital content providers, the global demand for a high quality, native 3-D programming pipeline has quickly become one of the most vital elements within the 3-D ecosystem,” said Cosgrove.
3net is betting the industry and consumers alike will eventually embrace 3-D TV at home. However, to date, sales of 3-D HDTV television sets have been a major disappointment, with many consumers refusing to buy the already highly discounted models.