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Entertainment Sector Hopeful 3D Will Prosper

Ready or not, 3D is coming with backing from all major sectors of the entertainment and consumer electronics industries. 3D movie production is intensifying, cinemas all over the world are investing in 3D technologies and feedback from audiences has been highly positive.

Yet the ultimate goal is to bring 3D to the home, and a Futuresource Consulting market study reveals studios, consumer electronics companies, broadcasters, video game vendors and network operators are all poised to promote 3D.

"Consumers are starting to experience the new wave of 3D technologies at the cinema and through Digital Out of Home advertising, and it won't be long before there's a groundswell of demand for 3D within the home," says Sarah Carroll, Director at Futuresource.

With over 200 million new TVs sold across the globe every year, the potential is huge, but the industry needs to overcome some serious obstacles in order to kick start and fully realize the revenue streams.

Most notably, technical and standards issues still need to be resolved and there is a limited supply of 3D content, with the current economic climate making new investment in production and distribution a challenge, particularly for the broadcast industry.

All eyes will be on the consumer electronics industry, with 3D-Ready television a prerequisite to consumer adoption in much the same way as HD-Ready sets were used to seed the high definition market five years ago. An early decision on the Blu-ray 3D standard will also be critical, as packaged media will be necessary to help drive the market.

Custom chipsets can be embedded into next gen hardware at relatively low cost. Combine this with an integrated consumer awareness program and a coherent 3D-Ready branding strategy, and the resulting price premium on hardware will more than offset the additional manufacturing costs.

"Our analysis points to the emergence of two distinct phases as we move through the diffusion curve," says Jim Bottoms, Managing Director at Futuresource. "Currently, we're easing into the preparatory phase, which will stretch out to 2011. Here we'll see 3D movies primarily being made for theatrical release and the continued rollout of 3D digital cinema."

TV manufacturers will start to roll out multi-format 3D-Ready sets and glasses from 2010, VoD delivery systems will begin to include limited 3D movie, concert and sport content, and the market for 3D PC games will continue to develop.

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