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Is 3D TV here to stay or on its way out?

Thursday, January 31st 2013 by Nigel Adie
Sky launched its 3D channel with coverage of the Ryder Cup back in October 2010
Three-dimensional TV has failed to really take off, despite the UK's first channel launching more than two years ago.

It's now almost two-and-a-half years since the launch of the UK's first 3D TV channel and still debate rages over the usefulness of the technology and its future prospects.

Few broadcasting innovations have divided opinion in the way 3D has. For every viewer who's convinced that three-dimensional television is the best thing since sliced bread, you'll find another who believes it's a complete waste of time and adds little to the medium.

Whatever your opinion on 3D, it's hard to deny that adoption of the technology has so far proved to be pretty disappointing. Although many new TV sets on the market are 3D-enabled, the number of people actually taking advantage of this feature is still tiny when compared with, say, the number who regularly watch high-definition TV.

Sky was surely hoping for better when its groundbreaking 3D service debuted across the UK back on October 1st 2010. At the time, the satellite broadcaster talked up the vast array of three-dimensional content it was making available over the following months, from Premier League football and international rugby union to movies and documentaries.

To its credit, Sky has continued to expand its array of 3D content since then, yet uptake of the service is still failing to take off. The question is: why?

Well, one reason is almost certainly price. Even if you've got the money to shell out on a 3D TV, you might be put off by the need to subscribe to Sky's top-tier package (Sky World) plus the HD pack for the princely sum of £65.75 per month.

With this barrier seemingly in mind, Sky is planning to make the 3D channel available to all of its HD customers in the future, according to Broadcast.

However, price isn't the only concern. For many viewers, it's just not that important to be able to watch a film or sporting event in 3D. Whereas HD offers an obvious improvement over the previous standard of coverage, 3D appears to be more of a tangential shift - and many people simply feel they can do without it.

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