3DTV won’t succeed in UK, despite broadcasters’ best efforts
by: Darren Allan - June 2011

Confirming what we’ve been saying on this site ever since 3DTV sets first emerged in the living room, a new report from Informa Telecoms & Media reckons that 3DTV won’t be a mainstream success in the UK.

The analysts estimate that come 2016 there will be 11 million 3DTV equipped homes in the UK – so the technology will certainly spread, that being one in three households (in 2016). However, the key point is that less than half of these owners will actually regularly watch 3D content, the report theorises.

Of the early-adopters who bought a 3DTV last year, 90% are classified as active users, because they’re obviously very keen on the technology.

Those buying a set over the coming years, however, will likely get a 3DTV by default as the technology becomes more widespread, and they’ll have no particular inclination to watch 3D or pay extra for three-dimensional content.

3D is now viewed by manufacturers not as a selling point, but as part of a bundle of features that must be included to make a set seem future-proof, such as net TV capabilities.

Major broadcasters such as Sky and the Beeb are pushing 3D technology, too, but this isn’t going to make much impact.

Adam Thomas, Senior Analyst, commented: “3DTV has the backing of the major UK broadcasters like Sky and Virgin, and most recently the BBC announced its plans to show the Wimbledon final in 3D for the first time.”

“However, despite this, public reaction has been mixed – due to both a lack of content and a simple failure of the public to engage with what is, essentially, a new type of viewing experience.”

The report’s conclusion is that while 3DTV will achieve considerable household penetration in this country, by and large it will only be used for one-off special events or films, not as a whole new way of viewing.

Which is possibly just as well, as we certainly wonder what the long-term effects of prolonged and constant 3D viewing might be on some folks’ eye health.