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TV Bosses Differ on 3DTV's Potential


Despite more than its share of industry buzz in the past several months, two media honchos have differing opinions on the real-world potential of 3DTV in the living room. Weighing in on a somewhat skeptical note was CBS President/CEO Les Moonves. And at the other end of the opinion pool was the deputy chairman of News Corp., Chase Carey. Both execs, however, see some problems with any widespread 3D viewing.

Since the vast majority of content available for television has already been produced since the medium's inception, Moonves touched on efforts he's seen firsthand to convert catalog material to 3D from their original quality. At the recent Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif., the CBS chief said he's seen prototype conversions of old episodes of "Star Trek" to 3D and was not impressed. As of now, he said, he's unconvinced that a market for such 3D programming currently exists, according to Reuters.

"Does the experience get good enough on television to work? I'm not sure it's going to be economically viable for the near future," Moonves said. Trying to convert older content not originally produced in 3D is one thing, Moonves said. But live coverage of sports events on in 3DTV, on the other hand, could be "phenomenal."

Carey at News Corp, which owns the Fox broadcast network and Fox News Channel on cable, went further than Moonves in predicting 3DTV could also prove successful for televised movies and major entertainment events beyond sports. But Carey, too, was a bit skeptical that the majority of day-to-day TV content (such as typical prime time and news) would prove popular with consumers.