3D TV quality concerns fuzz up the picture

Even as DirecTV, broadcasters and cable operators plow ahead with plans to launch as much 3D TV programming as possible--including movies, documentaries and even NASCAR racing--concerns over the quality of programming and, more importantly, the types of devices being used to receive that programming are bubbling to the surface and creating static.

Some within the industry worry that technology that claims to make 2D sets 3D-capable might be lacking in quality. On the other hand, "it does give the consumer something to watch," said Paul Gagnon, director of North American TV Research for DisplaySearch during a panel session at Cable Next-Gen Video Strategies in Atlanta. "The quality," he emphasized, "is nowhere as good as native 3D content."

The other looming problem is the cable industry's built-in nature to drive as much content in as few bits as possible. With 3D TV, there's no safe margin for cutting it close: the bits have to be committed.

The biggest helper in that space is a move to MPEG-4, but with tons of MPEG-2 equipment in the marketplace, it's unlikely cable will head wholesale in that direction any time soon.

For more:
- see this story
- and this news release

Related articles:
Welcome race fans: NASCAR coming to 3D TV
DirecTV to launch ESPN 3D TV Channel
FIFA World Cup pushed TV Everywhere, 3D TV expectations