While 2011 was characterized by more sober predictions for the take-up of 3-D TV, there are still many believers among broadcasters in the medium. Most ardent among them is High TV 3D, a broadcaster that claims it has the “most widely distributed channel globally.” Eric Klein, CEO, High TV 3D, discusses his 3-D TV outlook for 2012.
VIA SATELLITE: Could you outline High TV’s plans in terms of producing 3-D TV content and launching a new 3-D TV channel?
Klein: Given that High TV is bringing broadcast via multiple satellites, all of the content that we display has to be globally cleared copyrights. That is why 95 percent of the content on our channel is self-produced in our production facilities around the world. We produce about 400 hours of diversified entertainment content every year.
We are working extensively on the distribution of the channel. At this point, what we are doing mostly is trying to spread our channel as wide as we can, and to as many platforms as we can to make sure that 3-D actually gets standardized. If people don’t have enough content on their TV set, it means there will be no need or no desire to buy a 3-D enabled device. It is a chicken and egg scenario. It is either the content comes first or the hardware, but something has to come first.
VIA SATELLITE: Many analysts’ have said 2011 was the year that 3-D TV came back down to Earth. What is your view?
Klein: There are many variables. The most important people in this equation are the content managers of the platforms. On the one hand, they want to take up 3-D — everyone wants to have it — but, on the other hand, they are scared of it. 3-D TV is a scary word. Some of the technical people do not understand the technical requirements when it comes to taking up 3-D TV channels. Some people don’t believe there are enough TV sets to take up such channels. When the programming managers decide to take up 3-D TV channels as part of their regular channel line-up or a promotional tool for their HD packages, that is when the opportunity will come, and that is when it will be feasible for the content producers to produce more content and for the hardware manufacturers to push it harder.
VIA SATELLITE: How many households do you think are able to access your 3-D TV content?
Klein: I think only about 7 percent of the households in the markets we operate are able to access our 3-D content, but what you need to look at is the growth in the future. If a person buys a 3-D TV set now, and most sets being acquired today are 3-D enabled, they are going to have that set for the next three to four years. There have been well over one million 3-D TV enabled sets that have been sold globally.