3D is significant because on one hand, the Web is a force that tends to commoditize content (movies, music etc) by changing the business model (a song sold for 99 cents on iTunes). In contrast, 3D offers an opportunity to reverse that trend by creating new sources of revenue.
Earlier, we talked of the Cassette tape as a format that grew and waned (83 million cassette tapes sold in 1989 in the UK, but 8,443 sold in 2009). But 3D is a new format that creates a superior experience for customers. I have yet to see a customer complain about the 3D format since it provides a vastly superior experience over what they currently have. Nor have we seen regulatory bodies queue up to call for standardization of the 3D format. Of course, customers themselves do not mind paying more for the new experience in the form of new TV, new DVDs etc.
So, is there universal consensus on 3D formats? Not quite. The Techradar writes:
“The Digital Television Group (DTG) has looked into the possibility of standardizing 3D for TV and uncovered an industry that is divided about the format.
Results from the DTG’s research show that there’s definitely a split between the likes of BSkyB, which is already championing its own version of 3D in the home, and the television manufacturers themselves.
Interestingly, the consultation’s statisticians – who asked around 20 companies, including BBC, Sony, Sky, ITV and Freesat – found that 56 percent of the industry believed that 3DTV could become a mass entertainment medium in the UK within three to five years, if a format was sorted out.
Over the past few months, Sky has shown off a number of broadcasts of its 3D technology, showcasing everyone from Usain Bolt to Keane in another dimension.
Its way of getting 3D to the screen uses its current infrastructure and is pushing 3D in HD.
3D in 3Years
TV manufactures and ITV, however, believe that more sensible approach to get 3D in homes will be to go terrestrial, piping 3D footage through backwards compatible technology (so non-3D TVs can play the footage) and separate 3D receivers.
“One of ITV’s concerns is that if there is not a good solid industry view on [3D], it might be forced down a route that is not ideal for terrestrial,” explains DTG Director General Richard Lindsay-Davies.
“And, as capacity is more accessible on satellite, the satellite operators may choose something that is very hard to follow. It is our job to try to create both a commercial and technical balance.”
It was also found that use of the BBC licence fee to fund research and development in 3DTV was supported by 73 per cent.”’
Customers are the drivers of innovation and new formats will create new industries, revenue and innovation provided that they truly provide a superior user experience.
If the customers see the value in the format, then they will adopt it (and pay for content created in it).