Manufacturers holding up 3D channel development, say cable operators

The willingness of 3D TV manufacturers to cooperate with Hollywood studios on content windows for 3D movies will delay the development of service providers’ own 3D channels, according to leading European cable operators.

Speaking on a panel session on 3D at the CTAM EuroSummit in Budapest, Benny Salaets, vice-president of product marketing at Belgian operator Telenet, said that studios “need to make up their minds” on the positioning of content, where the windows for theatrical and Blu-ray DVD release means that creating a dedicated 3D channel is difficult to justify. “TV manufacturers are willing to buy into that window which slows down the whole project,” he said.

Jorge Filipe Graca, head of product at Portuguese cable operator Zon Multimedia, agreed that the current policy of studios “stops the regular cycle of distribution. The people interested in the mass market at this point are the ones stopping the actual content from flowing.”

However, Vassilis Seferidis, director of European business development at Samsung Electronics Europe, said: “There is a problem…When you launch a product you need content. We have to go directly to the content owners and work with them; they are the ones driving it.” He said that things should begin to change from next year, when he hoped that there would be sufficient content available to help take things forward.

Telenet launched a 3D demonstration channel in April, while Zon was the first operator in Portugal to launch a 3D showcase channel.

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