Soon after the public funded BBC understandably announced it will end its two year 3D trial in November, John Cassy says 3D watching is growing although the market not where it was hoped to be by now.
In his blog, John Cassy reassured 3D fans that the broadcaster/platform operator was committed to 3D using David Attenborough’s current 3D production as proof that the format has legs let.
It will be no coincidence that the blog post came soon after the BBC’s Head of 3D Kim Shillinglaw said that the November broadcast of the 50th Anniversary 3D special of Doctor Who will mark the end of a two year experiment.
In it he states that more than half a million Sky TV customers had signed up to watch 3D from Sky, bringing to a close “our strongest quarter of growth to date.”
Addressing the negative feedback in the media and acknowledging how other broadcasters are scaling back, Cassy says: “That’s not to say there haven’t been challenges in reaching this landmark. It’s early days for 3D TV in the home – and it is also fair to say that the market isn’t quite where some people had hoped it would be by now.
He says the challenges are people waiting for glasses free 3D TV, industry criticism that the technology is too complex, and a belief that it is too costly on the production side.
“Yet our experience of 3D TV has been far more positive, despite these challenges.” He says. “Firstly, 3D has been a great way of helping our customers get move value from their Sky subscription by providing a unique, immersive 3D experience at home for no additional cost. This is because – unlike some other providers of 3D programming in the UK or US – we are a platform operator as well as a content producer. This means that a significant proportion of the value of providing great TV in 3D lies in how it helps attract new customers to join Sky, and in how it provides another reason for existing customers to stay with Sky."
He continues: "Secondly, according to our research, Sky 3D viewers are among our most satisfied customers, with sports, movies and natural history their favourite genres. That’s why those areas – big event TV – are our focus moving forward."
Addressing the glasses issue, Cassy is confident that this challenge can be met too saying: “ Our conversations with TV manufacturers tell us that high quality TVs that will let you watch 3D without glasses and have excellent picture quality will be available at a price not dissimilar to today’s HD and 3D TVs in two to four years’ time.”
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