Trends in 3D Entertainment Featured at 2011 NAB Show

In a recent Content Insider newsletter, Andy Marken reported that the state of 3D filmmaking and broadcasting was one of the themes discussed at the 2011 NABShow® April 9-14 in Las Vegas.

NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) was originally formed to advocate for the interests of radio and television broadcasters. But like other associations, they have rebranded some programs to reflect the ongoing convergence in communications technologies. For example, the NABShow is now described as “the world’s largest electronic media show.” The event attracts more than 90,000 attendees from 151 countries and covers filmed entertainment and the development, management and delivery of content across all mediums.

In his newsletter, Marken reports that 3D filmmaker James Cameron chided broadcasters for not moving faster to make 3D content available on a wider range of screens. Here are some of the stats and projections cited at the conference:

  • There are about 25,000 3D movie screens worldwide (8,000 in the US).
  • Between 2008 and 2011, there were 160 3D movies released. About 140 3D movies will be released between 2012 and 2015.
  • In the US, 10 3D TV channels will launch this year; 25 will launch in 2012.
  • In the US, one-third of households will buy a 3D TV in the next three years.
  • In Europe, 42% of homes are projected to have 3D TVs by the year 2014.
  • In 2011, about 95 million 3D devices (including gaming devices, set-tops, and PCs) will be sold.
  • By 2014, the global installed base is projected to be nearly 900 million 3D-capable devices.

Of course, statistics and projections often turn out to be wildly optimistic. And Marken points out that a lot of these statistics assume that people will either accept the idea of wearing glasses for their viewing or the current “glasses-free” technology will be refined.

He also notes that if one-third of US households buy a 3D TV in the next three years, it means that two-thirds won’t.

Nevertheless, if you’re in the business of producing content, it’s important to pay attention how quickly new forms of technologies might be adopted. And to a certain extent, the adoption rate of 3D-capable devices will depend on the quality and variety of available content.

Other sessions at the 2011 NABShow focused on social media and mobile delivery of video, cloud computing and storage, and how the converging TV and film industries (Tellywood) could optimize their content assets.

There was talk about Google’s plans to produce content for YouTube and discussions of trends in the online video-viewing habits of different generations. More people are watching videos online than ever, but we’re also all watching more video content in general. Right now, people over 18 years old spend an average of five hours a day watching TV compared to three to five minutes a day watching online videos.

By the year 2014, eMarketer analysts predict that more than 90% of people from age 12 to 34 will turn first to the web to watch video content.


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