Fortunes of 3DTV mixed in U.K.

Report predicts format will stay out of mainstream

3D TV will struggle to take off in the U.K. and fail to become a mainstream viewing experience, a report from Informa Telecoms and Media predicts.

The research firm forecasts that while the number of U.K. households with 3D TV will climb to almost 11 million by 2016 (around a third of the total number of homes), only 42% are expected to watch 3D fare regularly. Last year, 125,000 households bought a 3D-ready TV and almost 90% of them were active viewers of 3D shows, added Informa.

3D TV is backed by pay TV platforms BSkyB, Virgin and, most recently, the BBC, said Adam Thomas, senior analyst at Informa.

“However, despite this, public reaction has been mixed, due to both a lack of content and a simple failure of the public to engage,” he said.

BSkyB is investing a lot in the technology having bowed what it said was Europe’s first 3D web last fall. Recently it scooped the BAFTA specialist factual award for David Attenborough’s natural history series “Flying Monsters 3D,” and regularly screens soccer and arts performances in 3D.

“Instead of a USP (unique selling point), 3D is now often marketed as just one of the set’s benefits along with features such as Internet-connection capability and LED backlighting,” said Thomas.

Informa suggested that if BSkyB continues to dominate the 3D TV market, it will generate significant revenues from the 4.6 million households forecast to be regular viewers of 3D by 2016.

The BBC is planning to broadcast the finals of the Wimbledon tennis tournament, which bowed Monday, in 3D, in homes and cinemas — its first public 3D transmission.

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