The uptake of any new technology is a cyclical process. If we look at 3DTV for example, first you need the technology, then you need people to buy the technology, but they need to be given a reason to do so. As more people buy the sets, more broadcasters want to produce material in 3D which gives more people an incentive to buy a set, and so on, and so on.
At the moment 3DTV is stuck somewhere in the middle of that cycle. Only Sky of all the UK’s broadcasters offers a dedicated 3DTV channel (in fact, it’s one of very few in the entire world) because of this relative lack of things to watch, there’s not a great incentive for people to buy 3DTVs, even more so because they remain quite expensive.
To get round this problem and to try to drive customers to buy the new sets, Samsung has taken the bold step of offering a portal on its website for its customers. The portal will allow owners of 3D sets – who also have their tv connected to the internet – to access the Samsung website and live stream a range of different programmes.
At the moment the range is quite limited, mostly just trailers for films and short emissions, but the manufacturing giant has already agreed a deal with Dreamworks that will see some of the most famous films in the world become available for streaming via the Samsung website.
It’s an interesting move, generally manufacturers stay out of the way when it comes to actually providing content, and if it works then we shouldn’t be too surprised if many of the other big companies head the same way. This will not only drive the uptake of 3DTV sets, but could also lead to a scenario where the majority of programming is offered not by broadcasters, but by manufacturers, and not available through satellite or television transmitters, but by the internet.
However, we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves just yet. For a start a 3D image is incredibly data intensive and to watch 3D over the internet would require a connection of uncommon speed, but with efforts being made in just about every country in the world to provide better broadband, maybe we’re not so far away from a broadcasting revolution.