As if to riposte the view of analysts like Futuresource and IHS Screen Digest, BSkyB remains confident in the future of 3D TV while recognising that its chief challenge is getting the growing number of households with 3D TV sets to subscribe to Sky’s 3D service.
Without naming any figures, Sky 3D channel director John Cassy says subscribers to Sky 3D are in six figures “and growing comfortably… We are confident of 3D TV’s success.”
According to Cassy, the content gap which at the beginning of 2011 was considered to be a drawback to the attraction of signing up to 3D services, has narrowed.
“At MIPCOM the increase in the number of good ideas has gone up significantly,” he said. “More and more 3D programming is coming through at increasingly high quality though some are sub-standard due to technical challenges.
“Critics have said that consumers will not buy 3DTVs, but that is wrong – 3DTVs are being bought in large numbers and at a fast rate with Informa predicting that there will be 1.8 million 3D TV households in the UK by end of next year.
“In the early days of HD there was a choice of about whether to buy an HDTV or not and today it is difficult to buy one that is not HD ready. The challenge for us is making sure that people are switching their 3D function on and enjoying 3D programming.
“We see the market taking off already. The UK market is already pretty substantial and the predictions for future sales are also strong. Without a doubt the market will develop at quite a decent rate.”
Cassy feels that the penetration of autostereoscopic screens will be a major point in the development of 3D.
“There are already a number of different glasses-free tablets on the market and we are watching them closely. We do have a partnership with Nintendo 3DS where short clips from Sky 3D content are available to users on their consoles.
“Our aim is to showcase 3D and to encourage people to try it for real. We believe that if consumers really want to engage in 3D, they need a proper size TV in the comfort of their living room as opposed to watching 3D on the go.”