No content dents 3D TV sales

3D TV is not – yet – delivering on its promise, according to a report from Screen Digest. “3D TV set shipments for 2010 will be 3.3 million units globally – a far cry from the 6 million-7 million expected based on projections from just four of the largest companies (LG, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony),” says SD. Indeed, Screen Digest says if you consolidate anticipated 3D-TV shipments from the overall trade generally then numbers of between 7.5 million to a staggering 20 million were expected for 2010.

The culprit, says the report, is a near-total lack of content. The research compares the first year of Blu-ray disc which saw 135 titles released by Hollywood. There were just 37 3D titles released in 2010, and the bulk of them were on limited availability given that they were bundled into exclusive deals with one or other Consumer Electronics manufacturer.

Broadcasters have only recently entered the 3D market, with DirecTV offering up 3D transmissions in June last year, and Sky in October. Furthermore, says SD, consumers have had problems with the eyewear, especially with active shutter glasses. On the upside, broadcasters have significantly boosted coverage of live sports events as the year went on not least the Roland Garros tennis, golf, soccer and the FIFA World Cup.

Nevertheless, Screen Digest is forecasting a rosy future for 3D with as many as 25 per cent of US homes being 3D-capable by 2014, around 20% in the UK and Japan, 15 per cent of French and 11 per cent of German homes.

Their optimism comes from the fact that this year will see the studios release more than 50 movies this year in 3D, and another 75 in various stages of production. There will also be a slew of non-cinema 3D production including dance and music-based material.

3D is also being built into new sets to such an extent that 20 per cent of sets will have 3D functionality by 2013, and 40 per cent by 2014.

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