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Made-for-3D TV: A Wish List

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Big blockbuster movies, animated effects-heavy features, action games, and live concerts would seem the most natural wish list items for any fan of 3D TV. Last week ESPN’s newly-launched 3D channel broadcast the New York Nets-Miami Heat game in 3D with more content to come. 

On the Xfinity (Comcast) XF3D channel we get “occasional 3D special event programming from Xfinity.” Dinosaurs 3D, with computer-generated footage and Adventures in Animation seem more like 3D demos than full-blown experiences: full of cool and wonder, but just beginning to scratch the surface of the possible. 

With cable providers beginning to develop 3D content, I wonder what they’ll come up with over the next year or two to both show off and make good use of the new technology. It’s a leap pregnant with possibilities ready to make us “ooh and ahh.” OK, so I’m a sucker for all the nifty gee-whiz that 3D promises. To be honest, when we got our first HD TV, I scoured the cable channels for everything I thought might look cool in high definition, and that meant—mostly—nature documentaries, sporting events and effects-heavy movies.

As far as 3D goes, I imagine, I’d still first seek out those great IMAX originals taking us deep beneath the oceans and high up into the mountains; up in space with Hubble or into the deep blue of Antarctic glaciers. And sports. We’re likely to see the Superbowl, the World Series, Stanley Cup Finals in 3D before we get mainstream television series in 3D.

But I wonder what series television would be like in 3D? The use of the 3D technology would have to be judiciously applied—not as a gimmick, but as we’ve seen it used more and more—to supplement and enhance.

Will Fox give us a House, M.D. 3D special episode? Some of the high definition House teaser sequences have been spectacular, and last year’s season finale “Help Me,” shot with a HD still camera made great use of technology you wouldn’t necessarily associate with a dialogue-heavy character drama. I can imagine getting up close and personal in surgery (not for the weak-of-stomach) with a 3D camera, but as with any television drama series, I can imagine reserving 3D for one of those big “special” crisis episodes.

A retro series like Mad Men could mount a slightly “meta” gimicky episode: a 3D episode about an early ‘60s style 3D ad campaign. It could work (but I demand full credit, AMC!). 

I think we’re far more likely to first see mini-series utilize 3D technology: the upcoming HBO series Game of Thrones based on the first novel in George R. R. Martin’s fantasy trilogy would be nothing short of spectacular in 3D. The vast landscapes, dragons, battles and ice palaces would be jaw-dropping at minimum. And although the series is filmed and about to premiere, I do hope the producers have had the foresight to consider now an eventual 3D Blu-ray release. I hope they also consider filming the other books in the series for 3D broadcast.

What made-for-TV 3D content would you like to see in the next couple of years? Let me know in the comments thread!

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About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is publisher and executive editor of Blogcritics, as well as a noted entertainment writer. Author of Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House, M.D., her primary beat is primetime television. But Barbara writes on an everything from film to politics to technology to all things pop culture and spirituality. She is a contributor to the book called Spiritual Pregnancy (Llewellyn Worldwide, January 2014) and has a story in Riverdale Ave Press' new anthology of zombie romance, Still Hungry for your Love. She is hard at work on what she hopes will be her first published novel.
  • james braselton

    hi there comcast 3d service got activated found out 10 3d channels availibale soo i will realy dream in 3d on christmax day