Digital TV in 3D the next big thing on radar
THIS year, Channel 7 chief executive David Leckie has predicted, will bring the biggest changes he’s seen in his 30-year TV career.
At the end of last year, Leckie was tipping the TV advertising market would improve, that free-to-air digital channels would make a bigger impact, and that changes to the ratings collection system would show that more people were watching free-to-air TV than previously thought.
Though viewers are starting to show Leckie’s predictions about digital channels have merit, they are more likely to get excited about the enormous changes happening in TV technology.
The recent success of 3D films has prompted the TV industry to race ahead with its push into digital TV in 3D.
Only a handful of TV sets on the market in Australia are capable of receiving high-quality 3D transmissions, but all the leading brands are developing models.
US network ESPN plans a dedicated 3D channel for broadcasting live sports events in time for the FIFA World Cup in June.
Locally, Foxtel has been testing 3D programming through its IQ set-top-box technology.
Curtin University of Technology research engineer Andrew Woods says only specifically labelled ‘‘3D-Ready’’ HDTVs, which entered the local market in 2008, are able to show high-quality 3D.
He says the current available models have basic specifications but better displays are expected ‘‘very soon’’.
Andre Iannuzzi, head of marketing at Hisense Australia, says a recent electronics show in Vegas has created enormous expectation as to what viewers will get from rapid advances in technology.
‘‘I think there were 20,000 new releases from 2500 suppliers (at the show),’’ Iannuzzi says. ‘‘LCD TV is moving to back of house and becoming a bit of a staple technology and LED is becoming front and centre. And 3D is the new hero in the TV landscape. Via DVDs and gaming is how I believe 3D is going to be introduced on a mass scale.’’
Internet-ready TVs, to enter the market in big numbers this year, are set to have a growing impact on viewing habits. This was apparent in Google’s announcement that it intends competing with major broadcasters for the rights to sports and entertainment events.
The company has signed a two-year deal to offer live access on YouTube to all 60 matches in the Twenty20 Indian Premier League, starting in March. It will also show on-demand content on mobile phones.
The eyes have it:
3D TV is booming.