Pay-TV Providers Jumping on the 3D TV Bandwagon

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SCOTTSDALE, AZ — 3D TV may not have lived up to its initial hype, but it's making headway, according to research firm In-Stat. Several 3D channels were launched in North America, Europe and Asia in 2010, and more will come in 2011. In addition to linear TV channels, 3D content is being made widely available on VoD, and providers that are experimenting with 3D VoD are expected to eventually make linear 3D channels available. As a result, In-Stat anticipates that the number of 3D TV channels will increase to more than 100 by 2015.

“Pay-TV providers around the globe who have HD systems in place have jumped on the 3D content being made available to them at a faster rate than many had expected,” says Michelle Abraham, principal analyst at In-Stat. “Many took advantage of the World Cup 3D coverage to test transmission of 3D over their networks, and some of them have now launched transmission of regular 3D TV channels. The competitive nature of pay TV ensures that once one pay-TV distributor in a country is offering 3D, the others need to be fast followers unless they want to lose their top-tier customers.”

In-Stat also finds that

  • 3D live event coverage will grow in 2011, but challenges remain.

  • Sports, movie, documentary and music channels are most likely to move to 3D first.

  • More 3D channels are currently available in Europe than anywhere else, because of the large number of pay-TV providers there.

  • As the costs to reproduce content in 3D decline over time, 3D content production will grow more quickly.

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