Higher 3DTV Uptake Will Spur More 3D Content Production

Jonathan Sutton

Apart from expensive price tags and compulsory eyewear, a distinct paucity of available 3D content has always ranked high on the list of factors impeding 3D TV uptake. However heavily TV makers, distributors and retailers try to push 3D TVs, mass market penetration simply won’t materialise unless there is a wide variety of material available in 3D for owners to watch. According to a report on 3D technology recently published, content providers are fully aware of this shortfall, and the majority have plans to start offering more 3D content in the near future. But somewhat worryingly, many 3D content providers are waiting for greater penetration of 3DTV sets within the home setting before they will commit further in 3D content production.

IMS Research, one of the world’s leading publishers of highly detailed market analysis within the consumer electronics sector, is the research firm responsible for this study titled “3D Video & Gaming in the Home“. In the report, IMS Research revealed that more than fifty broadcast and pay-TV operators will be involved in some sort of 3D content delivery to household users by the end of this year.

The market research company expects more 3D content meant for consumption in the home to be churned out over the next 3-5 years, mirroring the upward trend of how 3D movies are released in theatres. Anna Hunt, a principal analyst at IMS Research who wrote the report, said that most of the major broadcasters and content providers all around the world are seriously thinking about using 3D in some form to enhance their premium packages, even though most currently do not have the hardware and technology to actually produce 3D content of a suitably immersive quality.

Among the broadcasters and TV network operators surveyed in the study, three-quarters harboured plans to offer 3D content either as a trial run or as a full-fledged premium service within the next 18 months. A-fifth of these interested content providers have already started delivering 3D content to some extent.

Ms Hunt was quick to point out in her report that the content providers surveyed are generally concerned by the modest 3D TV adoption among consumers thus far, and would like to see higher 3D TV market penetration before investing more resources into creating and delivering 3D content. But surely this is a chicken and egg problem – potential HDTV buyers are unlikely to spend their hard-earned money on a 3D TV unless they are convinced there is enough 3D content for them to enjoy.