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Future of 3-D TV is murky as ESPN ends a channel

A television cameraman operated a 3-D camera at the Championship playoff final soccer match between Crystal Palace and Watford at Wembley Stadium in London last month.
A television cameraman operated a 3-D camera at the Championship playoff final soccer match between Crystal Palace and Watford at Wembley Stadium in London last month.Eddie Keogh/Reuters

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A few years ago, 3-D was hailed as the next big thing in television, the logical successor to high definition. But viewers in the United States did not buy the hype, and now the eye-popping format is seen as an expensive flop.

That impression was cemented last week when ESPN, the nation’s largest sports network and an early adopter of 3-D technology, said it was turning off its three-year-old 3-D channel. A spokeswoman said the decision was “due to limited consumer adoption of 3-D services to the home.”

The news spurred debate about whether anyone would be left watching in 3-D soon, or whether anything would be available worth watching.

The only other big 3-D channel, 3net, said it was undeterred.

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