UK public 'failing to engage' with 3D TV

3D - not yet essential viewing
3D - not yet essential viewing

A new report on the state of the 3D TV market in the UK has outlined that 3D will eventually become a mass market product but it is currently failing to engage with audiences.

Informa Telecoms & Media has forecasted the state of 3D TV over the next five years and believes that the technology will eventually end up in 11 million homes but the amount of 'active' users of 3D TV will be less than half this amount.

While the use of 'active' as an adjective is a little confusing, considering we are currently in the midst of an 'active v passive' 3D technology debate, the report sees active users as those who actually actively use their 3D TV to watch 3D content and not just plain old 2D.

The current take-up of 3D TVs in UK is around 125,000, according to the Guardian, and out of these 90 per cent use their TVs for 3D use.

While this figure will increase 100 times by 2016, Informa Telecoms & Media believes this will be because the technology will be embedded in most TVs by this time and not because of consumers' appetite for 3D. In fact, it believes that just 42 per cent of those with a 3D TV will be using their set for 3D watching.

Sky 3d

"Irrespective of existing public demand for 3D, major set manufacturers (Samsung, LG, Panasonic, et al) increasingly see 3D capability as a feature that they must include in their sets, or the perception will be that rival manufacturers are producing a technically-superior product (with 3D included)," said Adam Thomas of Informa Telecoms & Media.

"The result is that an increasing proportion of TV sets are having 3D capability built into them. But instead of a USP, 3D is now often marketed as just one of the set's benefits – along with features such as internet-connection capability and LED backlighting."

One of the reasons that 3D will be seen as just another feature and not the main feature is that it is not an evolution like HD.

"We do not share the view that 3D represents the obvious next evolutionary step for TV, in the same way that colour followed black and white, or HD is following SD," said Thomas.

"A case can be made that colour and HD offer noticeable enhancements to the technologies that preceded them. But 3DTV 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."

This arrival of Wimbledon this week will be a decent litmus test for current 3D viewing, as the men's semi-final and women and men's final is to be shown in 3D on BBC HD.

Via the Guardian

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.