IMS Research, one of the leading electronics market research firms in the world, has released some survey data which indicates that sales of 3D TVs may contribute to a surge in the sales of Blu-ray players.
In a survey conducted in the USA and Western Europe, IMS Research discovered that out of 13% of respondents who wanted to splash out on a 3D TV within the next couple of years, more than half also intended to get a 3D-capable Blu-ray player to supplement their 3DTV purchase.
This is hardly surprising, given that there is little point in investing in a 3D TV if one is not going to watch 3D content on it. Certainly 3D Blu-ray disc playback on a compatible 3D Blu-ray player would be one of the most logical methods of obtaining the necessary 3D content.
Despite the efforts of movie producers to jump on the 3D bandwagon following the runaway success of Avatar 3D, the sad truth is that there remains a severe dearth of 3D content for the home user. The Sky 3D channel — available only to subscribers of Sky HD World (i.e. Sky’s most expensive HD package) — is currently made up of a preview showreel of selected 3D clips, and occasional reruns of the football matches Sky screened in 3D towards the end of last season. 3D Blu-ray titles, at this time of writing, cannot be purchased as standalone discs at retail outlets, partly because manufacturers like Panasonic and Samsung have secured exclusivity to certain titles to be bundled with their 3D HDTV sets and players.
Sony is going to try and shake things up though: the company has announced that it will release Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs — its first 3D Blu-ray title — as a standalone packaged retail Blu-ray disc, with more 3D animations such as Open Season and Monster House due to follow. Hopefully more manufacturers and studios will follow in Sony’s footsteps as they come to realise that widespread availability of 3D content (which is thin enough on the ground as it is) is essential for the long-term success of 3DTVs and related accessories.