3D TV evolving with price a barrier: Study

MUMBAI: Since the release of James Cameron’s Avatar in late 2009, the 3D concept has boomed. In the last year, 3D movies have been rolled out on a regular basis and nearly all cinemas now show at least one 3D movie at a time.

The next stage in 3D technology was released in September, roughly a year to date since the release of Avatar; it is of course 3D TV.
Since then, paid subscription TV services have been battling it out to be the one to raise the stakes by releasing the first ever 3D channel. In their attempt to increase awareness and enhance their reputation, paid subscription providers started to warm viewers into the concept by showing sport in 3D across the US and UK.

An online opinion poll conducted by the market research surveys site, Valued Opinions, asked people whether they were interested in upgrading their television to a 3D broadcast. 46 per cent of respondents who participated were inclined to upgrading their TV.
However, cost appears to be a major factor influencing the adoption of this new viewer phenomenon. Of the 46 per cent who were likely to buy a 3D broadcast, 27 per cent stated that they would only do so once the prices fell.

So it appears that 3D television is proving to be a highly expensive risk for all those involved. Not only for the consumer to purchase but for production companies to make. With all the excitement that comes with 3D technology, the risk that goes with it must be considered. Surely all those involved will be no doubt hoping that this isn’t just the latest craze but something that will stay around for some time.

Cost aside, there seems to be more than one issue facing the transition into 3D television: the use of glasses which is a requirement to be able to enjoy the full 3D experience.

Earlier this year, roughly six months since the hype of Avatar, respondents of the survey were called on once again to give their opinions. The online opinions rendered 38 per cent of participants didn’t enjoy wearing the 3D glasses. Although this doesn’t represent the voice of the majority, it does reflect both an opportunity and a threat to the survival of 3D broadcasting.

These public opinions give an insight into the response of 3D television integration, but only time will tell of the exact results. The issue of cost is something that will surely decrease over time, but whether the public become acceptant of the fact that glasses must be worn to watch their favourite programme is uncertain.

All in all, 3D is still relatively new, and technology is constantly changing. It could simply be a matter of time before some tech-savvy genius finds a solution to enhance the user’s experience and maybe wearing glasses will become a thing of the past.

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