Even though during 2013 services have been either ended or ignored by major broadcasters, 4KTV suppliers have used it as a benchmark of what not to do and there has been an almost total absence at IBC, 3DTV is not yet six-feet under says Futuresource Consulting.
Indeed, and astonishingly given the aforementioned, the analyst predicts that global consumer uptake of 3D hardware will continue apace, with the market on track to achieve 157.7 million 3DTV sales in 2017, up from a forecast of 59.3 million for 2013, representing an increase of 166%. This would also mean that in 2017, 3DTVs would account for just under three-fifths of all TVs sold across the globe, rising from 18% in 2012.
Yet in compiling its predictions, Futuresource Consulting does make the caveat that the 3D TV industry needs to press home an opportunity to deliver immersive experiences while widespread consumer adoption of 4KTV technology and services is several years away, as the TV hardware has yet to drop to a level affordable to the mass market consumer.
The report also concedes that 3DTV content is restricted. Even though BSkyB and Virgin Media have not totally abandoned 3D, and in some cases are increasing broadcasting, the BBC will make no further 3D programmes for three years, BT Sport has stated no current interest in the technology, while ESPN, Canal Plus and Foxtel have all pulled the plug.
Commenting on the content challenge, Futuresource Research Analyst, Sam Leech, said: "Growth in the delivery of 3D content to the home is less apparent, with a varying array of broadcaster strategies – some are ending current commitments whereas others continue to increase output. What is clear is that 3D content will become increasingly restricted to premium and on-demand offerings. To date, the unique appeal of 3D to the consumer is that it offers greater immersion in content, and it also allows both broadcasters and TV panel manufacturers to charge extra for a premium feature. This extra dimension of user engagement is now challenged by new technologies that do not require the complications currently involved with accessing 3D content."