New breed Blu-ray players will drive demand for 3D-ready devices

22 Feb 2010

The Blu-ray Disc Association’s announcement in December last year on the finalisation of the ‘Blu-ray 3D’ specification has been cemented by Sony’s release of a standalone 3D-Ready Blu-ray player, firmly fixing the industry’s crosshairs on a 3D future.

Within four years, 50pc of US homes will own a 3D-ready display, and the uptake of 3D–ready Blu-ray players won’t be far behind, with one out of every three US homes owning one, according to Futuresource Consulting.

“Our research shows an imminent upsurge in the adoption of 3D-capable high-definition and Blu-ray hardware, now strengthened by a clearly defined 3D road map,” says Jim Bottoms, director at Futuresource.

“We expect that a high percentage of Blu-ray disc players will ship with 3D capability next year, and within a few years it will probably be difficult to buy a player without 3D.”

Hunger for 3D content will also be driven by owners of PS3 consoles who will be able to play 3D Blu-ray content via a firmware upgrade. For those consumers not yet convinced by the HD experience, 3D will be a highly persuasive reason to upgrade.

Combine this with other premium features, such as connected TV and Entertainment Database Browsing, which allows users to browse actor and production information, and consumers in the early adopter and early majority segments will begin to upgrade fairly quickly.

“With a number of leading hardware brands all vying to carve out an early position in the 3D TV and Blu-ray disc market, 3D-ready TVs and players will seed the 3D market in much the same way as the HD market was primed five years ago,” says John Bird, a leading strategy analyst at Futuresource.

“By 2015, we expect the majority of TVs available will be 3D-ready and the normal replacement cycle will result in a good proportion of households in the US, Japan and Europe having a 3D-capable display,” says Bird.

“There is a real feeling of excitement surrounding 3D and here at Futuresource we believe the new unified approach will translate into commercial success within the course of the next few years.”

By John Kennedy