As of today, Sony launched a free “3D Experience” service for anyone that purchased a 3D Bravia television since 2010. The new channel is loaded onto the Bravia television (assuming the television is connected to the Internet) and provides access to 3D movie trailers as well as sports clips likely provided from the partnership with ESPN 3D. The service is available for United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France and Germany at the moment. Sony also has plans to add the content to other 3D devices such as 3D Blu-ray players and 3D home theater systems.
There are only thirty 3D clips available at the launch of the service such as 3D trailers of Monster House and The Green Hornet as well as highlights from Wimbledon 2011. There are also 3D music videos and documentaries to view as well. Sony plans to increase the amount of content available on the service, but doesn’t indicate if this is a future platform for Sony rentals. In order to stream 3D content to a Bravia television, the recommended internet connection speed is 10Mbps. There’s no registration or monthly fee required to access the service.
This announcement comes on the heels of Samsung’s 3D TV on demand service that rolled out in Europe and the United States in May 2011. The content is served through the Samsung SmartHub and offers similar content to Sony such as movie trailers and music videos. Sony also recently announced an extension of ESPN 3D sponsorship. ESPN 3D transitioned to a 24/7 network in February of this year and is promoting 3D coverage of the upcoming X Games as well as the college football season. The channel has covered more than 115 live events in 3D since 2010.
Over 2010, 3D television ownership reached 1.1 million U.S. homes and is expected to enter another 1.8 million by the end of 2011. However, ESPN 3D is broadcast to over 65 million households meaning less than 5 percent of those homes can watch sporting events in 3D.