Report: New 3D TV programming may increase adoption rates

Home 3D technology elicits geeky joy from those with the bank accounts to afford it, and head-tilting skepticism if your pocketbook is a bit too light to justify a 3D TV purchase. Of course, even those with money to spare are hesitant -- as is often the case when any fancy new gadget comes along. While unlikely to effect the price of 3D TVs themselves, a new report suggests 3D-specific television programming will buoy the adoption of the technology.

The report, filed by Futuresource Consulting and related by Home Media Magazine, concludes that 3D TV channels like 3net and ESPN 3D will increase 3D TV adoption rates substantially, leading to a total U.S. user base of 15 million homes. The London-based firm also claimed last year that 3D TV adoption was outpacing HD TV adoption for the same respective time periods.

While the spread of 3D-specific programming is welcome news to early adopters eager to get their money's worth, the company points to the relatively slow move on the part of studios to push 3D TV-compatible Blu-ray movies as a hurdle -- one the analyst expects can be countered by television networks as they move earnestly into the third dimension.

Fiona Hoy, an analyst with Futuresource Consulting, said “Limited retail content availability has placed greater importance on the role of the broadcast segment as a key 3D content source." She was quick to point out, however, that 3D movies won't hurt, either: “3D disc title sales are expected to see a significant boost this year with a strong release slate, which includes key franchises 'Harry Potter' and 'Transformers.'"

Last month saw some excitement over 'passive' 3D TV technology - lower cost alternatives that ditch the high-end shutter glasses for the less expensive movie-style model, along with a slightly cheaper TV boasting a special screen. The report alludes to such attempts at capturing consumer attention (and cash) with a less costly product, but notes that barring a full, comprehensive group viewing experience these workarounds aren't likely to succeed.

Have you broken down and purchased a 3D TV yet? And if not, will the spread of 3d-specific TV programming cause a change of heart? Let us know in the comment section.

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