Yet more 3DTV news (Sony piles on)

Sony’s never one to be left out of a marketing cycle, so Sony CEO Howard Stringer piled on about Sony’s plans for 3DTV and adding 3D displays to VAIO laptops, and 3D-Ready display capability to PS3:

Financial Times scooped it here.

Sony’s announcement is pretty significant in that they have essentially committed their entire relevant product line (TVs, Game Consoles, and PCs) to a stereo 3D capability rollout in 2010.

Then LG added to the pile-on with a demo at IDC of a 3D-Ready plasma HDTV, and a “leak” that they would ship in the 2010 timeframe, according to Register Hardware.

Less than a year ago, the majority of CE manufacturers, Telcos, and MSOs with whom I’d spoken had internal research, marketing, operations, and/or engineering teams that could be fairly characterized as “hopeful but skeptical” or even positively hostile about 3DTV. Recent news illustrates that strategic attitudes about 3DTV tend to change awfully quickly when the “3D revenue premium” is demonstrated repeatedly.

With 3D movie theater tickets commanding a premium over 2D showings in the 50% range, and with demonstrated overall revenue for 3D showings wiping the floor with the revenue for 2D showings, it’s not hard to see where all of this enthusiasm is coming from:

1. It’s not hard to add 3D capability to an existing HDTV flat panel. All it requires is a little extra video processing to demultiplex a side-by-side (or similar) video signal into two views (one for the left eye, one for the right). If adding $15 BOM to a TV set lets you trot out a new model with a significant feature like “3D-Ready” — just add shutter-glasses for $150, itself a high-margin add-on — this is a win-win for the TV manufacturers.

2. What about content? The movie studios have this solved already — you will be able to buy VOD/PPV movies in full color 3D, or on Blu-Ray — at a significant premium, just like you pay at the theater. Again, a win-win for the movie studios.

3. The laggard here will be live broadcast, feature and episodic TV programming — there have been very few announcements about 3D TV porgramming other than VOD. The reason for this is that shooting 3D content has a series of challenges (read: it’s expensive). 3ality Digital is a company that has pioneered some early efforts in making 3D live event production a high-quality experience; but until programmers can be shown that advertising rates for insertion into 3D shows can justify the additional costs, this medium may continue to lag the cinema/VOD realm.

All three (devices, movies, and episodic/live TV) will have to offer compelling value not only for the consumer, but also to the producers and distributors of the content in order for 3DTV to become a mainstream format.


~ by opticalflow on September 4, 2009.

2 Responses to “Yet more 3DTV news (Sony piles on)”

  1. Excellent info!!….This is what everyone wants to know about HDTV. This is hdtv reviews blog. It pretty much covers HDTV related info.

  2. nice and very informative writeup keep it up.

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