Early Adopters of 3D TVs Push Sky’s Recently Launched 3D Channel to 70,000 Subscribers

After making a big impact at the cinema, 3D entertainment is expanding into thousands of homes equipped with special 3D TVs. There are about 140,000 of them across the nation, and Sky aims to accommodate this emerging market with a new product. The satellite TV provider now broadcasts in 3D for 14 hours a day on a dedicated channel called Sky3D. This comes at no additional charge to those already subscribed to the company’s Sky+ HD service, and it is compatible with most 3D TVs on the market.

Now, just a few months after launching their 3D TV channel, the UK’s largest pay-TV company boasts subscriptions from about half of those 3D television owners. Sky plans on pursuing an event-driven model; Sky3D viewers can expect to see concerts, special occasions, hit movies, and sporting events. The company views this sort of programming as the key to achieving the next step of mainstream 3D TV acceptance. A chief supporter of Sky’s new service is Panasonic, and they, along with a multitude of other TV manufacturers, are predicting a significant rise in 3D television ownership within the next decade.

When compared to the overall ownership of HD televisions, the numbers become less impressive for 3D TVs. The overall adoption of the new format has been slow, and growth is expected to stay sluggish for years to come. The current limited availability of 3D-formatted DVDs and Blu-ray Discs has hindered 3D television sales. Also a factor, as with many new technologies, high prices, along with a general sense of consumer caution, have limited the current appeal of 3D TV. An appeal, which experts say, will be broadening relatively soon.

DisplaySearch, a consulting firm which tracks TV-tech trends, predicts global shipments of 3D televisions to hit 90 million by the year 2014. 3D TV appears to be following the path of HDTV, which has had a similar slow rise to prominence. As all 3D TVs on the market are by definition also categorized as HDTVs, the two formats may become one and the same, with more future HDTVs being made 3D-capable at lower prices. Current offerings average at a costly £2,000.

Despite its problems at present, 3D television looks to have a bright future. With 3D films becoming more popular each year, it only seems natural that TV would follow suit. But with a large increase in price over regular HDTVs, and content which is only just emerging through outlets like Sky3D, don’t expect the third dimension to make it big on the small screen just yet.