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January 13, 2010

Avatar's Success May Pave the Way for 3D TV into Our Homes

By Hans Lewis, TMCnet Contributor

3D technology now seems poised for its big breakthrough, fresh on the heels of the blockbuster hit “Avatar.” The 3D movie has already generated more than $1.1 billion in worldwide sales, making it the second biggest revenue generator ever.

In-Stat (News - Alert) 2010 has released a report titled, “3D TV Coming Soon to a Home Near You,” covering a worldwide market for 3D television. Encouraged by 3D success, leading TV manufacturers, broadcasters, Hollywood studios, computer companies and video providers such as DirecTV (News - Alert) plan to launch 3D devices and services in 2010
Hence, it did not come as much of a surprise when In-Stat 2010 reported that the popularity of Avatar and other 3D movies will put 3D TV on the map for consumers. It also predicted that 2010 will be a big year for 3D entertainment, as movie studios release more 3D films shown in a growing number of 3Dequipped theaters.
Michelle Abraham, an In-Stat analyst, said that the exposure to 3D films is important to the debut of 3D TV, because consumers who have seen 3D films are more interested than the general population in being able to view 3D content at home.
In-Stat's 3D consumer survey shows that 64 percent of consumers are at least somewhat interested in 3D in the home. For those who have seen a 3D movie in the last 12 months, the percentage increases to 76 percent.
Talking about 3D content, however the 3D TV drooling has only increased by experiencing the potential of it after watching the recent, hugely successful Avatar Film. Come to think of it, almost all animated movies in 2009 have come out in 3D, or “Real D.” Even older movies are re-hitting the theater with a 3D makeover. Movies like the Toy Story 1 & 2, Mask etc. And off course with animation and computer graphics leading 3D content, the Gaming software industry will most likely push the 3D TV’s to meet excellence standards just as it did to the PC and the gaming consoles.
Recently, the Blu-ray disc association has agreed upon a 3D standard, which allows 3D movies and games to be released on Blu-ray disc players and Sony's PS3 video game consoles which will soon hit the market by mid this year. In the US, DirectTV, the US satellite television provider, plans to introduce a 3D channel by end of this year and ESPN (News - Alert) will start broadcasting in 3D this summer with a World Cup football match. Also this week Discovery Communications, Sony and Imax announced plans for a joint venture that will roll out the first 24/7 dedicated 3D television network in the US next year.
Some interesting facts have been released by In-Stat research recently including:
·         Worldwide 3D TV shipments will reach 41 million in 2014
·         3D Blu-ray player shipments will track closely with 3D TVs
·         Pricing is a major barrier, as survey respondents are not willing to pay much of a premium for 3D TV sets and Blu-ray players
·         Many Pay-TV operators will use half resolution 3D as a stepping stone and learning opportunity for full HD 3D in the future
·         On a regional basis, North America will be the largest market
The research includes the examination of the 3D eco-system that is 3D formats, 3D content, consumer interest in 3D, transmitting 3D to the home, and 3D consumer devices. Additionally, worldwide five-year forecasts for 3D channels, 3D TV set shipments, ASPs, revenues by region, and 3D Blu-ray player shipments through 2014 are analyzed.

Hans Lewis is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Kelly McGuire

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