While there’s plenty of bad news around for 3D-TV, with ESPN and the BBC saying that they will not be making any new 3D investments once their current projects are completed, BSkyB is staying loyal to the technology.
BSkyB’s 3D director, John Cassy, in a blog, reaffirms Sky’s commitment to 3D arguing that progress – while not quite what the industry had hoped – was still being made. As of last week, more than half a million BSkyB TV customers had signed up to watch 3D, “bringing to a close our strongest quarter of growth to date,” Cassy says.
“Certainly the ongoing economic downturn has meant that households are tightening their belts, and people have upgraded their TV sets to 3D at a slower rate than the industry first forecast,” said Cassy in his note. “Some potential viewers may have also delayed experiencing 3D, preferring to wait for new technologies, which mean they don’t have to wear glasses.”
“Our experience of 3D TV has been far more positive despite these challenges,” he said. First up, “3D has been a great way of helping our customers get move value from their Sky subscription by providing a unique, immersive 3D experience at home for no additional cost,” he argued. “This is because – unlike some other providers of 3D programming, in the UK or US – we are a platform operator as well as a content producer. This means that a significant proportion of the value of providing great TV in 3D lies in how it helps attract new customers to join Sky and in how it provides another reason for existing customers to stay with Sky.”
This is true, and the fact that Sky’s investment in 3D can be amortised over ‘ordinary’ HD broadcasting must help in the ‘cost per hour’ argument associated with production budgets.
Second, he quoted research that indicates Sky’s 3D viewers are among the company’s most satisfied customers, with sports, movies and natural history their favourite genres. “That’s why those areas – big event TV – are our focus moving forward,” Cassy argued.
He said that Sky would continue to work with Hollywood on 3D movies and would continue to deliver high-quality 3D material to homes.
He added that in his conversations with the display industry he expected high-quality 3D displays to be widely available for viewing without glasses in 2-4 years time and “at prices not dissimilar” to today’s HD and 3D sets.