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3D TV has backing but lacks impact
|22 июня 2011|
Although 3D TV has major support from leading UK service providers like Sky and Virgin, it is not expected to be an instant success in Britain. Statistics released this week forecast that less than half of the 11 million 3D TV-ready homes in the UK by 2016 will see active use of the technology.Figures from Informa Telecoms & Media found that in 2010, almost 90 per cent of homes with 3D-ready TV sets were active users. But the much higher proportion results from early-adopters being significantly more likely to sign up for 3D content services, coupled with providers making content available for free to build some scale.
But as 3D becomes a default technology embedded in more equipment it will reach consumers who are not particularly interested in the technology and so the “active” percentage will fall.
But there will still be significant growth in the penetration of 3D-ready sets, with one in three households in the UK owning a TV set with 3D capabilities by 2016. But this growth is being driven by a change in strategy amongst consumer electronics companies. At launch, 3D was marketed as the “next big thing” for the mainstream TV viewing experience – the natural successor to HDTV. But with mainstream adoption becoming a much harder sell, the emphasis has changed to a future-proofing strategy. By depicting 3D as the cutting edge of technology, manufacturers can try to convince consumers that a compelling 3D environment will eventually be in place, so they should equip themselves for it now.
“3DTV has the backing of the major UK broadcasters like Sky and Virgin, and most recently the BBC announced its plans to show the Wimbledon final in 3D for the first time. However, despite this, public reaction has been mixed – due to both a lack of content and a simple failure of the public to engage with what is, essentially, a new type of viewing experience,” said Adam Thomas, senior analyst with Informa.
“Irrespective of existing public demand for 3D, major set manufacturers (Samsung, LG, Panasonic, et al) increasingly see 3D capability as a feature that they must include in their sets, or the perception will be that rival manufacturers are producing a technically-superior product (with 3D included). The result is that an increasing proportion of TV sets are having 3D capability built into them. But 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.
The analyst believes that the short-term impact of 3D will be limited, but 3D TV-capable sets will have long-term mass market penetration, driven by major CE manufacturers embedding the technology in the majority of their sets.
“We do not share the view that 3D represents the obvious next evolutionary step for TV, in the same way that colour followed black and white, or HD is following SD. A case can be made that colour and HD offer noticeable enhancements to the technologies that preceded them. But 3D TV 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,” added Thomas.