Would Facebook spend $2 billion on hype? Why pay-TV should pay attention to VR

Dan Frankel

With most of CES immersed in one big (virtual) virtual reality headset, I attended one panel in which the participants pondered whether we were witnessing the next version of 3D TV.

Anyone who has attended CES regularly can think back to four years ago, when Las Vegas was festooned with hype about 3D. But the technology never went anywhere.

"Nobody wanted to wear those ridiculous glasses for two and half or three hours," said Eric Fitzgerald Reed, VP, entertainment and tech policy, Verizon. "Three-D was more aspirational instead of really being a thing that would drive a marketplace."

A consensus quickly emerged that, while it may be getting overhyped right now, virtual reality (or VR), is not that technology.

In FierceCable's latest special report, we look at the reasons why the video entertainment business should take VR seriously and invest in it. "I'm a converted skeptic -- there's just too many big companies involved in it now spending real money for it to be hype," said Brett Sappington, senior analyst for Parks Associates. 

Indeed, with Facebook investing $2 billion into Oculus VR -- and the first fruit of that investment, the Oculus Rift headset -- about to hit store shelves, virtual reality is about to become a lot less virtual.

With Goldman Sachs projecting VR to become a $3.2 billion business in the area of video entertainment over the next 10 years, FierceCable examines why the pay-TV industry should play close attention to this new tech. You can read the feature here.--Daniel