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The future of 3DTVs: 157.7 million sales forecast for 2017

Futuresource Consulting have released an interesting new report on the predicted uptake of 3D hardware, with the market reportedly set to achieve 157.7 million 3DTV sales in 2017 – up from a forecast 59.3 million for 2013.

“In 2017, 3DTVs will account for 58% of all TVs sold across the globe, rising from 18% last year,” reckons Sam Leech, research analyst at Futuresource. “Growth in the delivery of 3D content to the home is less apparent, with a varying array of broadcaster strategies – some are ending current commitments whereas others continue to increase output. What is clear is that 3D content will become increasingly restricted to premium and on-demand offerings.”

It’s a rather odd prognosis: more (much more) 3D hardware – and significantly less content? Someone’s going to end up looking injudicious, we guess.

The UK landscape, for example, is apparently polarised, with BSkyB reaffirming its commitment and Virgin Media increasing its range of 3D broadcasting, on the one hand, while the BBC, on the other, has postponed trials, with no plans to make any more 3D programmes for a striking three years. BT Sport is reportedly similarly nonplussed about 3D in the immediate future.

“A number of major broadcasters are now diverting investment to other initiatives, such as 4K and multi-screen content delivery,” says Leech. “Several broadcasters across all key world regions have run 4K trial shoots of sporting events, though widespread consumer adoption of 4K hardware is several years away, as the TV hardware has yet to drop to a level affordable to the mass market consumer.”

3D cinema remains stable, though, apparently. While screen adoption in developed countries is reaching saturation point, there is still room for growth in emerging markets where 3D has developed a strong following.

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