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U.K.: Brit Broadcaster eyes 3DTV with some Skepticism

While to hear set makers and some cablers and programmers tell it, 3DTV is nothing less than the "next big thing" for consumers — having had their appetites whetted sufficiently by such theatrical 3D blockbusters as "Avatar" and "Alice in Wonderland." And there's plenty more on the way.

But for broadcasters, some are saying not so fast. 3D may be securing its position at the theater level, but that doesn't necessarily translate to the living room flat-panel screen. "We need to see what the long-term benefits of 3D to broadcasters are before we commit," said Danielle Nagler, an HD exec at the BBC. Nagler voiced some caution over rushing into 3DTV at a recent confab in London, according to the New York Post.

Nagler is at least the second network executive to voice a bit of skepticism over the 3D craze; CBS CEO Les Moonves recently voiced some displeasure over viewing some "conversions" of old "Star Trek" episodes to 3D. (The vast majority of what is viewed on television, quite naturally, has already been produced. Therefore, some type of suitable conversion method likely would be needed if 3D content were to be aired on anything but a piecemeal basis.)

According to the BBC's Nagler, "We are not clear on what makes good 3D and are certainly not clear on what makes good 3D television. The trials we are doing are a bit like early color — it looks interesting but there is a long way to go."

For sports on cable, however, ESPN sees 3DTV as a "given" and plans to launch its first (and anyone's "first") fully dedicated 3D channel on June 11.