When the media world started making the slow transition to high-definition television, those of us on the bleeding edge paid our extra fee every month for a very small lineup of HD channels. But it was worth it if you spent the money on an HD TV, and networks and cable companies were happy to charge the extra fee.
As a reward, early movers into HD like Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks Disney
Six years after I made the HD switch, we are starting to see another shift to 3-D just in time for the holiday season. TV ads are filled with advertising for 3-D TVs, and cable companies like DIRECTV
We don't need to look any further than those taking the first-mover advantage again. Discovery is taking the lead again by partnering with Sony
We can always expect ESPN to be on the cutting edge, and 3-D has been no different. ESPN 3-D is available before the number of 3-D TVs is even meaningful, and it is pushing the service with nonstop commercials.
And, of course, RealD
3-D probably won't become the "next HD" because not everyone sees value in 3-D, and not all content is valuable in 3-D. I see this as an advantage for the companies involved because 3-D content will remain a premium service, and customers will be willing to pay extra to see it. But no matter how big 3-D becomes, I want to be aligned with the first movers.
Walt Disney is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. IMAX is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Walt Disney and Discovery Communications are Motley Fool Stock Advisor choices. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.