Q&A with Tom Cosgrove
Discovery Exec Heads
New 3D Television Network Joint Venture
We recently caught up with Tom Cosgrove, a member of the Edison Awards Steering Committee and former executive vice president and COO of the Discovery Channel. Cosgrove recently became President and CEO of 3D Net, a Sony/Discovery Communications/IMAX joint venture television network. 3D Net is expected to launch in early 2011 as one of the first full-time, all-3D television networks in the U.S.
EA: We've read about Discovery Channel's commitment to creating a library of 3D television programming. What does this mean to the traditional TV programming as we've known it?
Cosgrove: Discovery, Sony, and Imax (the venture partners) believe that the high-end production technologies (and accompanying displays) have emerged to the point where 3D is now a strong and compelling tool in the creative arsenal of storytelling and TV making. Just as TV did not fully replace radio, so too will HD and 3D live side by side in the near future. The goal for the venture is to provide the best 3D television experience in the home, bar none.
EA: Beyond the obvious thrill of watching 3D in our living rooms, how will the medium boost the educational impact of the programming?
Cosgrove: When 3D is at its best, the experience crosses over from simply engaging to highly immersive. It's that immersive experience that will heighten both the educational and entertainment impact, seamlessly.
EA: Given the limitless content on the internet and the growing, experience-building power of video, do you think future generations will consider brick-and-mortar libraries and museums as viable resources?
Cosgrove: I do. I recently took my boys to George Washington's Mount Vernon estate...keeping 5 and 10 year olds engaged in history is not a slam dunk, but for them it was a phenomenal way to experience how Washington lived and worked first hand. They loved it, and left with an appreciation of a part of history that might otherwise be difficult to understand. That said, part of the experience included a short film on Washington's life and times in addition to other interactive elements. The combination of new media and brick-and-mortar made it that much more compelling; it's that combination of technology and artifact that will drive such places in the future.
For more details about 3D Net, read this article written following Cosgrove's appearance at a recent Piper Jaffray Technology, Media & Telecommunications Conference.