Joseph O'Halloran ©RapidTVNews | 31-08-2011

TV set makers are primed to bite the bullet that 3D will not be the must-have feature driving a sales explosion and will offer it as part of a future-proofing strategy.
According to research from Informa Telecoms & Media, 3DTV set penetration is about to take off, but only because TV set manufacturers will embed the technology into a high proportion of their sets. However, this will be done despite a clear lack of demand for, never mind take-up of, 3D content services.

The new research predicts that overall 3DTV penetration will rise from the 2010 level of 0.2% (2.9 million) of TV households to 16.9% (236.2 million) by 2016. Yet, the analyst warns, only a third of these homes will be active 3D users.

Informa ultimately believes that the 3DTV industry has failed to build on the momentum for 3D generated by the film Avatar. Instead, it argues, mainstream adoption has been stymied by a clear lack of compelling content, the cost of services and equipment, plus the under reported element of the difficulty for users in mass numbers to engage with a whole new viewing experience.

Indeed, Informa stresses that despite the best efforts of the manufacturers to regard 3D as not an order winner - but as only an order qualifier that is expected by TV buyers along with features such as an LED backlight - uptake will still be limited, at least until the technology has progressed significantly so that a natural viewing experience, without the much disliked 3D glasses, is achieved. This, claims the analyst, will be some time beyond 2016.