Foxtel to close 3D channel

By David Knox on July 29, 2013 / Filed Under Pay TV 11

2013-07-29_1155Foxtel has announced it will close its 3D channel at the end of August.

The 3D channel (Ch 201) was announced with some fanfare in November 2010 with a mix of  mostly sports and live events from FOX Sports and ESPN.

“Our new dedicated 3D channel is another ground-breaking first and will allow our customers to experience movies, sports and documentaries in stunningly clear and immersive 3D pictures,” said then-CEO Kim Williams.

Free to Air networks also got excited with 3D coverage of the Olympics, State of Origin and AFL.

But in recent months 3D has been on the wane worldwide, with limited content being produced for television and low adoption by consumers.

The BBC recently announced it would take a three-year break from developing 3D programming at the end of this year. Doctor Who‘s 50th Anniversary will still be produced as a 3D version in November.

CNN reports Disney-owned ESPN is also shutting down the ESPN 3D channel.

Complaints about home 3D have referenced around high prices, the limited number of 3D offerings and the awkward glasses that made viewing uncomfortable over long periods of time. And many consumers, having recently upgraded to high-def flat screens, weren’t ready to replace their sets yet again with newer models.

In Australia ACMA approved Free to Air networks trials for 3D events in order to consider policy and consumer issues. Its website indicates “Further trials will be considered as the need arises.”

In recent surveys, TV Tonight readers have previously noted 3D was a low priority compared to a desire for more HD content.

Foxtel’s 3D channel closes on 27th August.

11 Comments »

  1. Glory Days July 30, 2013 at 8:17 pm -

    My partner is blind in one eye so can’t see 3D anyway, so was never an option for us.

  2. Rutzie July 29, 2013 at 10:11 pm -

    They haven’t shown one single 3D movie on this channel. Just repeat after repeat of the X Games with the occasional documentary. I am a fan of 3D but this channel will not be missed.

  3. junkyard July 29, 2013 at 8:09 pm -

    I hope they will use the 3d channel to give more bitrate to the already bitrate starved HD channels.

    the 3d channels uses 10-13mbps, give it back to the existing HD channels to make them look better.

    When you have a 70″ TV you see how crap Foxtel HD really is, because of the poor bitrate!.

    Come on Foxtel!

  4. Dave July 29, 2013 at 5:36 pm -

    no surprises there. 3d is a gimmick and no tv channel is going to heavily invest in 3d Infrastructure after spending millions on HD. 3d tv’s are a waste of money

  5. MattJ July 29, 2013 at 2:23 pm -

    Sorry but the reason I bought a 3D TV was that I was going to watch TV in 3D which I do. Foxtel have 3D but its not in the packages I have. I don’t have movies or sport so why can’t they make dedicated 3D channels to cater different Genres? Nat Geo style shows in 3D. TV shows in 3D too. I’d watch it, I pay a lot to have Foxtel and expect 3D channels to be included in my non sport non movies package. Take a break for a year or two and build up the content Foxtel…

  6. Josh777 July 29, 2013 at 1:26 pm -

    Thanks David for the story. I just hate how the then CEO promised such variety but it was basically just ESPN 3D with the addition of about 2 documentaries and 2 other 3D sporting events from Fox Sports – not one movie was screened on the channel. I loved watching the X Games in 3D so at least we’ll get the LA ones in 3D this week. Here’s hoping Foxtel will use the spectrum to increase their HD entertainment channels (TV1 being a priority)

  7. nevothirty July 29, 2013 at 12:57 pm -

    the biggest problem with 3D was the majority of us had just bought a new HD tv, 3D tv was never going to work, not yet anyway. to watch dvds etc yeah it was a great idea, but it took a decade to convince people to switch to digital HD tv’s

  8. kimbeth July 29, 2013 at 12:39 pm -

    I like many enjoy going to the cinema for a 3D film but if I’m laying on the lounge eating and using social media, then wearing the glasses and all is just impractical.

  9. PJs Ronin July 29, 2013 at 12:37 pm -

    Raise your hand if you didn’t see this coming.

  10. Ren July 29, 2013 at 12:15 pm -

    I like well produced 3D films and documentaries but only watch them on bluray. It doesn’t lend itself well to casual viewing, especially with your smartphones and tablets let alone a sizeable group of mates.

  11. laurie July 29, 2013 at 12:07 pm -

    As always with new technology no standardization of glasses,new Blu-ray player required and every thing else I have forgotten

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