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3DTV 'won't go mainstream'

21 June 2011
LONDON: Usage rates of 3DTV services will remain subdued in the UK despite backing from broadcasters including Sky and the BBC.

According to new research from Informa Telecoms & Media, the technology will not become an integral part of the typical viewing experience in the years to come.

By 2016 there will be around 11m 3DTV households, the report predicted. But less than half of these will be "active and regular" consumers of 3D content.

By contrast, around 90% of the 125,000 buyers of 3DTVs in 2010 are active users. This is because many of these buyers are tech-savvy early adopters.

The nascent technology has received strong support from the UK's major broadcasters over recent months.

Sky launched a dedicated 3DTV channel last year, while the BBC announced that is to broadcast the upcoming Wimbledon tennis singles finals in 3D.

Adam Thomas, senior analyst at Informa, said consumer reaction to the technology has been "mixed", with some viewers being put off by a "lack of content", among other factors.

"We do not share the view that 3D represents the obvious next evolutionary step for TV, in the same way that color followed black and white, or HD is following SD," Thomas added.

"3DTV is less of an enhancement and rather more a new type of viewing experience – one that many people will enjoy, but some way from becoming ubiquitous."

Speaking at the ISBA conference in March, Sky's chief operating officer Mike Darcey said the broadcaster's 3D channel was attracting advertiser support, with around a dozen advertisers including Diageo and Phillips having already run dedicated 3D spots.

The Informa report also suggested that - irrespective of the popularity of the technology among viewers - 3D capabilities will become embedded in increasing numbers of sets.

This is due to Samsung, LG, Panasonic and other manufacturers adopting "future-proofing" strategies - incorporating 3D into their sets as standard so as not to seem less "cutting edge" than their rivals.

"Instead of a USP, 3D is now often marketed as just one of the set's benefits – along with features such as Internet-connection capability and LED backlighting," Thomas said.

Data sourced from Informa Telecoms & Media/Warc; additional content by Warc staff

 
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