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Doubts persist over 3D

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  • Doubts persist over 3D

    By Julian Clover
    Published: September 11, 2010 09.39 Europe/London

    IBC 2010/STRATEGY ANALYTICS 3DTV ANALYST FORUM. A new study on the attitudes of both the production sector and consumers towards the 3D format has painted an uncertain future.

    Ben Piper, Director, Multiplay Market Dynamics, Strategy Analytics (right) said the sale of 3D displays only told half the story. By 2014 the number of people who have 3D displays, HD services and a 3D service available would number 24 million, just 14% of the total who are expected to have a 3D display in the home.
    “We believe 3DTV still has some significant barriers, market uncertainty, not least contest availability and over all consumer interest and willingness to pay,” he said. Highlighting data from the Strategy Analytics 2010 Digital Media and Television Survey, which took in 2,000 US consumers and 700 in each of four European countries, Piper said that 44% of those in the UK survey were either not sure or believed that all TV programmes would soon be in the 3D format.

    63% were uncertain or believed that 3D could cause damage to their eyesight, a figure that rises to 73% of US households. “There’s no research that proves that’s the case, but that’s irrelevant, if consumers believe that we’ve got a problem.”

    The issue was also addressed by Brian Lenz (left), director product development, BSkyB who said that the broadcaster had been working with manufacturers on what he described as the communications challenge. “There’s plenty of reports out there from scientists that there is no risk,” he said.

    Lenz, who launches Sky 3D to consumers on October 1, said there were now multiple opportunities to monetise 3D. “Content owners need to know there’s a place for them to make money selling on the content, you now have cinema selling films, packaged media selling on the films with 3D, games, and most importantly pay channels and pay platforms have an opportunity to monetise 3D as a premium product.

    Sky 3D’s launch schedule will run from 9.00 to 23.00 daily with what Lenz described as a ‘wow’ loop of 3D content and six hours per week of appointment to view television, such as the live 3D games from the Premier League. “We’re not trying to say watch everything you would watch in 3D because there’s still that multitasking when your watch TV while reading the paper or the internet.”

    Doug Shear, CEO & Chief Analyst at DIS Consulting Corporation, said that in comparison with the experience of HD, so far most production crews are renting 3D equipment. He said there was a relatively small amount of equipment that had been purchased. According to the DIS Consulting/Strategy Analytics survey 31% said they would purchase 3D equipment in the next 10 years, 24% would not, and 22% were not sure. Shear said he anticipated more activity in the rental of 3D equipment in 2011.

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