3D TV unlikely to go mainstream in UK


3D TV is unlikely to be a mainstream success in the UK due to a lack of content and the failure of the public to engage in the technology. This is despite the millions of pounds invested in 3D TV by the likes of BSkyB, Virgin Media and the BBC, and growing penetration of 3D TV sets.

A new report from Informa Telecoms & Media forecasts that fewer than half of the 11 million 3D TV-ready homes in the UK in 2016 will be active and regular users of 3D TV content. Almost 90% of homes with 3D-ready sets were active users of 3D TV last year, a combination of early adopters coupled with operators making content available for free to build scale. However, the report concludes that as 3D becomes a default technology embedded into more sets as standard, it will reach consumers who are not particularly interested in the technology, resulting in a fall in the percentage of active users. By 2016, one in three households will own a TV set with 3D capabilities.

“3D TV 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 and author of Global 3DTV Forecasts. “We do not share the view that 3D represents the obvious next evolutionary step for TV, in the same way that color followed black and white, or HD is following SD. A case can be made that color 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.”

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