The new 3DTV Working Group kicked off its operations last Saturday with an inaugural meeting at CES. George Winslow of Multichannel News covered the event, and according to his report, the group attracted a large number of companies interested in the future of 3D. That observation jives with what I’ve heard from Motorola execs internally. Not only are companies interested, but they see an actual business case for 3DTV that wasn’t apparent even a year ago.
For cable and telecom providers, there are two main factors contributing to the 3DTV business case:
- The availability of 3DTV sets and 3D content (movies and new 3D stations launching this year)
- Blu-ray’s standardization of a 3D platform (scheduled for release this fall), which will likely help drive consumer demand for 3D in the home
It’s also worth noting that CableLabs recently announced that many existing digital set-tops are capable of processing 3DTV signals in frame-compatible formats – something Motorola has demonstrated at trade shows over the last year.
In terms of infrastructure to support 3D, there’s an interesting quote from Motorola’s Sean McCarthy in George Winslow’s article:
We want to get the message out that you can actually start delivering 3D now over the entire existing MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 infrastructure and that there is a path to the future where you can deliver even more compelling, higher quality 3DTV… I don’t think 3D is going to be as disruptive as HD in terms of infrastructure.