The World Cup on 3D TV: gripping, but pricey

The 2010 World Cup will be offered in 3D TV by three networks this year. But at $2,260 for the equipment and service, it's an expensive proposition.

David Gray/Reuters
Goalkeeper Tim Howard and defender Steven Cherundolo of the U.S. let in a goal during their friendly soccer match against Australia just outside Johannesburg June 5. The World Cup kicks off on June 11, and will be available in 3D TV.

So you couldn’t swing the $2,500-plus ticket to Johannesburg this summer to catch the World Cup in person.

But you’re looking to get a little more immersed in the action than, say, watching TV. How about 3D TV?

On Wednesday, AT&T and Dish Network announced that they would offer the FIFA World Cup on ESPN 3D, following Comcast and DirecTV.

ESPN is the first TV network to devote an entire channel to 3D, inaugurating ESPN 3D with World Cup. The network will show 25 games from the tournament, including appearances by the US and top-rated teams, as well as the last three rounds. ESPN 3D will air at least 85 live sporting events in its first year.

Imagine – the ball shooting towards the lower left corner of your living room as US superstar goalie Tim Howard dives toward your coffee table for the save!

Sold? OK, this is what it will cost you if you go the AT&T route:

  • $10 for the AT&T U-verse subscription
  • $149 for your 3D TV glasses (if you’re having guests over you might want to think about instituting a B.Y.O.G. policy – everyone needs their own pair)
  • $400 for a 3D-enabled Blu-ray player
  • $1,700 for your new 3D TV. (That’s if you decide to go with the least expensive model – Samsung’s 46-inch LCD with a conventional backlight. Or, you could pay up to $7,000 for top-of-the-line models.)

The package will set you back at least $2,260 before taxes – or game-time snacks.

Hmm. Maybe you should have sprung for that plane ticket after all.

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