February 7, 2014 10:42 dmercer

Summary: Our analysis suggests BT already has plans to extend its new pay-to-own movie service to digital downloads to portable devices, and that the promise of “keep forever” will be difficult to guarantee if you don’t remain a BT subscriber.

BT this week became the first major European pay TV provider to offer pay-to-own content, or, as BT prefers to call it, “Buy-to-keep”. It may seem a minor issue but the word “own” of course lies at the heart of debates about the future content business models. Funnily enough, BT replaces “keep” with “own” in its own small print (“Terms”).

BT has struck deals initially with movies from 20th Century Fox and Sony Pictures but plans to add box set TV series in the coming months. Content will be available in SD and HD.

BT joins Comcast (Xfinity Purchases) and Verizon (FlexView), who have been offering similar services in the US. Download-to-own services are of course widely available from OTT providers like Apple iTunes and Amazon. But the entry of pay TV companies signals a new phase in the converging video market as they seek not only new revenue streams but also to give their hard-won subscription customers another reason not to leave.

Initially BT’s buy-to-keep service will only be available to users of its YouView set-top boxes, and only on TVs connected to those boxes. Content is streamed to YouView boxes each time it is watched, not downloaded. This raises the question, what happens to customers’ “owned forever” content if or when they no longer have access to the BT TV service?

The answer appears to lie in BT’s Terms. BT tells customers that it will provide a permanent copy of purchased content within 12 months of the date of purchase, in the form of either a digital copy for download or a DVD. BT says they retain the right to decide which option a customer gets.

BT also says that, if a digital copy is provided, the customer will also be able to stream the content to a compatible device. In this case the copy can be downloaded up to a maximum of 5 times on up to a maximum of 5 compatible devices. In each of these cases, the customer must be a BT subscriber.

If the content purchaser no longer subscribes to BT services he will not be able to download the content any more. So anyone deciding to leave BT who has purchased buy-to-keep content must download one or more copies before cancelling the BT service, otherwise they will no longer have access to their “owned forever” content.

These restrictions are similar to those offered by Comcast’s Xfinity Purchases service. In summary, if you do not continue to pay for TV or any services from the pay TV service provider, the content you bought-to-own is only available on devices you owned at the time you were still a customer. You cannot transfer that content to other devices. Given that PCs, smartphones and tablets typically survive in use for less than five years, this would seem to be some way short of owning the content “forever”.

There is also the question of whether purchasers, who have bought a movie to watch on their TV set, will be happy that they can only watch it on a small screen if they stop subscribing to the pay TV service. It seems unlikely that portable devices will be able to play HD content onto a TV screen using an HDMI lead because of HDCP restrictions. Without being able to watch their purchased HD content on HDTVs customers might think they are being short-changed.

All of these issues are of course ultimately driven by the demands of the content rights owners. They are similar to the restrictions on digital copy usage which apply in Ultraviolet and similar OTT services. The conclusion for the customer should be that only way to be really sure of owning a piece of content “forever” is to buy it on a disc and hope that a) the disc doesn’t deteriorate and b) the hardware to play the disc continues to function. Perhaps BT customers would rather have a copy of the DVD after all.

David Mercer

Client Reading:


January 17, 2013 11:30 dmercer

A significant statement on the future of digital terrestrial TV came yesterday via German online publication W&V. RTL, the leading commercial broadcaster in both Germany and Europe as a whole, will begin to remove its leading channels from the DTT (DVB-T) service beginning in June this year in Munich. By 2015 the RTL, Vox, Super RTL and RTL II channels will no longer be available on any DTT service throughout Germany.

RTL’s Marc Schröder, who is responsible for RTL Deutschland’s strategic business development, gives a number of reasons for this decision. The two key factors are political uncertainty and unproven business model. The fact that terrestrial frequencies are under pressure to be used for mobile services now makes it impossible for RTL to justify long-term investment in digital terrestrial television services. In any case, DTT currently only accounts for 4.2% of RTL’s audience: the vast majority of viewers use cable, satellite or IPTV services. By RTL’s estimation DTT is therefore by far the most expensive broadcasting method: thirty times more expensive than satellite.

RTL also dismisses DVB-T2 technology (which offers greater compression and the potential for more HD channels) as a possible DTT saviour. While DVB-T2 would allow for encrypted channels and pay services, RTL sees no possibility that the media authorities support this concept of DTT’s future.

The importance of RTL’s decision is underlined by our ConsumerMetrix research on Germany’s favourite TV channels. The RTL channel ranks only slightly behind pubcasters ARD1 and ZDF, with 58% of Germans saying it is a “must have” channel. Vox rates at 33% and RTL2 at 19%. DTT is likely to be badly affected once these channels disappear.

 We have long debated the future role of DTT in the overall communications landscape. As I have often noted in client meetings, if we were to design the entire system using a blank piece of paper we would never have used wireless services for broadcasting television to fixed antennas: wireless networks are fundamentally more suited to mobile applications whereas fixed, in-home devices should be served by wired or non-mobile networks. DTT is the evolution of a legacy model stretching back some eighty years and still has a strong role to play in many parts of the world as a result. But RTL has cast significant doubt on its future in a major market and it may not be long before we hear similar discussions in other parts of the world.

 

David Mercer

 


March 2, 2012 17:29 dmercer

As we approach next week’s important Cable Congress event in Brussels, we went to our ConsumerMetrix survey of 2700 television households to see what European cable customers are saying about their television service in relation to cable’s major platform competitors, satellite and DTT. We are pleased to present the results of this analysis in a complimentary report to coincide with the Cable Congress, which is now available for download from the Strategy Analytics website.

Clearly broadband and other services are also on cable’s agenda, but in this report we’ve focused on television services. Unlike the US, where cable has long been established as the primary television access platform, its availability and customer base across Europe is much more of a patchwork quilt. For a number of historical and structural reasons, both satellite and terrestrial providers have established stronger relative positions in Europe than in the US.

Satellite’s advantages are clear to see from our survey. We asked customers whether their television provider gave them access to advanced services and features such as programme guide search, series recording, and live TV pause. In every case satellite customers were more likely to have access to these capabilities than cable customers. Often the margin is significant: 59% of satellite customers get HDTV channels, compared to 50% of cable; 53% have series recording on satellite services, and only 36% on cable.

 Remarkably perhaps, more satellite customers claim to get VOD from their satellite provider than cable customers: 44% v. 43%. Satellite clearly lacks the integrated pipe required for a true VOD service, although hybrid internet and push-VOD DVR services are available. Nevertheless, the fact that cable’s one big technical advantage has not been maximised demonstrates how much catching up the cable industry has ahead of it. Or is it just that cable customers don’t know what their cable provider offers?

 

While satellite leads in technology rollouts, digital terrestrial television has also had a major impact on Europe’s landscape. Not surprisingly, given that these are often free services, DTT lags behind both cable and satellite in feature availability and performance. But the flipside is that DTT is most highly rated on overall value for money, not surprisingly. In times of economic uncertainty the threat of customer defection to a lower cost option is very real.

 

This satellite/DTT pincer movement presents cable TV with a dilemma: should it concentrate on the innovation threat from satellite (and potentially other new entrants), or try to resist the allure of free digital terrestrial services now widely available across Europe? Can cable meet both challenges, and how can its broadband advantage be used to best effect?

 

I’m looking forward to getting further insight into these and other questions from the senior executives who will be speaking at Cable Congress. I’d also welcome any feedback on our survey findings and invitations to discuss industry issues and strategies during the event.

David Mercer


April 28, 2011 21:16 bpiper

The past two years have been tough on Pay Cable TV. In 2010 alone, the industry saw over two million video subscribers drop their subscriptions. While certainly not great news, there was a silver lining. In the same seven quarters, Cable High Speed Internet (HSI) gains more than compensated for Pay TV losses.

Has Cable been in the wrong business all these years?

Following that same trend, Time Warner Cable today announced that it had lost another 66,000 Pay TV subscribers in the first quarter. The good news? It added 177,000 broadband subscribers.

We've heard (and indeed, have been saying) for so long that traditional Service Providers were threatened with "disintermediation" and risked being relegated to the role of a "dumb pipe." I, along with many analysts, have advised Service Providers to avoid this trap at all costs.

But in retrospect, is being a "dumb pipe" such a bad idea?

High Growth, High Margin

As Pay TV subscribers (and margins) continue to dwindle, Cable Broadband profitability is growing. Our analysis shows that HSI margins are anywhere from 70% to 110% higher than Pay TV (depending on whether or not advertising is included in the calculation). Broadband is likewise changing the face of the "traditional" Cable bundle. In 2008, Video contributed 59% to Cable's Revenues. In 2010, the number was 53%.

TWC's CEO Glen Britt told analysts on the company's Q1'11 earnings call that the company is rethinking the role of broadband in the company's portfolio. "High-speed data is quickly becoming the anchor product in the eyes of our customers," he said.

CABLE_GROSS_MARGINS

Don't reprint those business cards quite yet

While on the surface it may seem like a no-brainer, doubling down on broadband may not be the best long-term strategy for Cable.

As a highly commoditized consumer offering, it is extraordinarily challenging to differentiate, and is one easily duplicated by competitors. Furthermore, prospects for increased ARPUs in fixed broadband are decidedly limited, as few have been able to successfully monetize incremental bandwidth offerings.

To be sure, it's doubtful that any MSO would abandon its core TV offering. But as Cable ponders its next move on the OTT front, it should be of some comfort that broadband continues to take up the slack.

-Ben Piper

Technorati Tags: ,,,

December 22, 2010 16:12 dmercer
We don’t do this very often folks, but as a seasonal gift we have made our 2011 Digital Home Predictions report available to everyone, whether a Strategy Analytics client or not. You can download the full report here. A lot of the talk at the moment is about Google’s troubles with its TV offer: there will be little to see at CES after all, much to the annoyance of Google’s many partners no doubt. But this setback should not be seen as a a sign of general malaise in the connected TV industry: Apple has just reported that its TV solution is finally gaining some traction, and we expect continued progress from other key players in the rollout of internet TV to the big screen during 2011. We may even see Facebook moving into this space. Headline number of the year will be tablet revenues, which we predict will exceed netbooks. We also think Apple needs to revamp iTunes to take account of the connected device era, and Nintendo may have to take the plunge and launch the successor to the Wii. We’ll see further innovations in the TV control arena, with touchscreens, phone apps and motion control all featuring more widely. But 3DTV is likely to see only slow progress: sure, people will be buying 3D-enabled sets, but less than 20% will be watching 3D content on them. And one more stat to whet your appetite: more than one billion people worldwide will be using social networks for the first time during 2011. And since you are one of them, please go ahead and read the full report, and any comments and feedback are always appreciated. Best wishes for a peaceful holiday season. David Mercer Client Reading: Profiling the Connected Media Consumer - UK Add to Technorati Favorites

October 25, 2010 20:10 bpiper
Already heated tempers reached a boiling point last week in the current mêlée between Fox's parent company, News Corporation and New York-based Cablevision. At issue is the question of "retransmission," the fees cable companies must pay networks to carry their programming in the line-up. In the latest salvo, News Corp elected to deploy a "nuclear option" of sorts--blacking out not just Fox channels, but also Cablevision subscriber access to sites such as fox.com and hulu.com. The access blocking, while short-lived, sent a clear message-Fox holds the cards. Was this move a shot across the bow of `traditional' cable, as some have suggested, or rather a shot in the foot for News Corp?

This Whole ‘Cord Cutting’ Thing?  Yeah, it’s Here to Stay

Dismissing or minimizing the severity of cord cutting has been de rigeur of late in the analyst community.  Many service providers and industry pundits alike have effectively buried their heads in the sand for the past 18 months over the issue, writing it off as “over hyped phenomenon.” Survey research we just fielded suggests that doubters might want to rethink their position.  According to the survey of 2,000 Americans in late Q3’10, 13% intend to drop their pay TV subscription in the upcoming year—and not replace it with another one.  We have long held that cord cutting is a very real problem, and what we’re seeing now is likely just the tip of iceberg.  What happens when today’s teenagers start controlling the pocket strings in five or ten years?

120 Channels and Nothing On

The average US household receives nearly 120 channels, though many would argue that they watch only a handful of those. Our survey found that, when asked to rank their five "must have" channels, Pay TV consumers chose the four "free networks" (CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX) as the top slots. ESPN rounded out the top 5. This is rather astonishing, and adds further credence to the notion of cord cutting.  After all, if  four of the top five channels an individual watches are available for free (either online or over the air), why on earth would one pay upwards of $70/month for a subscription?  Force of habit?  Because the cable company told you to?  To avoid having to switch an “input” button on the remote control?

Not the End for Pay TV—But Maybe Pay TV As We Know It

To be clear, we are in no way predicting the imminent demise of pay TV.  There will always be a market for premium content, and that customers will continue to be receptive to paying for content relevant to them. Rather, we believe that service providers must rethink business models. Some have already begun to do this, through initiatives like TV Everywhere.  That, however, solves only the where part of the problem.  Next to tackle is the what. A la carte?

October 14, 2010 09:10 dmercer
The excitement around 3D has been palpable over the past year, beginning with the numerous announcements, roll outs and demos at CES.  The momentum continued through the spring and summer, with more service providers putting stakes in the ground, and carried over to this year’s IBC show, where Strategy Analytics hosted an analyst breakfast on the topic with Sky 3D head, Brian Lenz.  The verdict? Excitement and hype levels were skyrocketing.  The question remains, though, whether or not anyone can spin this into a viable and profitable consumer offering. Over the summer, we fielded a 4,800 respondent survey  in five countries (France, Germany, Italy, UK and US), asking individuals about their understanding of, interest in, and willingness to pay for 3DTV.  The results are covered in detail in report we just published last week.  Here are some highlights:

Translating 3D Excitement into 3DTV Viability is Challenge

Over 70% of those who have seen 3D in the movie theater are impressed by its quality, but only 55% of those same individuals say they’re interested in watching 3DTV at home. How can Service Providers translate the cinematic excitement around 3D into a viable residential business? We found a few barriers standing in the way, including a dearth of content in 3D, luke-warm consumer interest in paying, hardware issues (the need to wear glasses), and widespread market uncertainty.

Market Uncertainty is a Barrier

Respondents were asked a battery of questions around their perceptions of 3DTV, including availability, hardware requirements and potential health and safety issues.  While overall awareness is quite high, with 94% saying they believe it’s possible to see 3D films in a movie theater, on other questions, the market uncertainty is substantial. The most surprising, and most critical finding to both vendors and service providers alike, is the uncertainty surrounding perceived health risks. Overall, 70% of respondents said they were either unsure or believed that watching 3DTV causes damage to the eyes. We believe that this perception issue, which proved to be common across the five countries surveyed, is a key hurdle standing in the way of widespread adoption of 3DTV. Regardless of the validity of the belief, customer perception is what matters, and such widespread uncertainty could prove disastrous if not addressed appropriately.

Perceived Health Risk by Country (“3DTV Causes Eye Damage”) N=4,803

HealthRisk Source: Strategy Analytics

Target: Cube Tubers

3DTV, at least in the short term,  will be largely a niche application, attractive to only a subset of the general population. Through our survey work, we have isolated and identified this demographic as the “Cube Tubers,” and suggest that they should be viewed as a key target market for service providers and equipment vendors. These individuals represent between 8%-10% of the overall population, and are unique in their intentions to purchase a 3DTV in the upcoming year, and to be active premium/HD customers.  Cube Tubers,  who are predominantly young, educated married males, are nearly twice as likely as the average Joe to expect to pay for 3DTV.  Willingness or expectation of paying hits on an issue that many in the industry seem to be overlooking.  Few question the “wow” factor of 3D.  Rather, the question is, how do you make money at it? Client Reading: 3DTV: Will Consumers Buy It? Add to Technorati Favorites

October 6, 2010 17:10 bpiper

Cisco today unveiled its long-awaited consumer Telepresence product. A smaller and scaled-down version of the company’s enterprise-grade TelePresence system, “ūmi” (‘you-me’) comes with an HD camera, a console and a remote. The idea of the videophone is far from new. Children of the 60s and 70s may recall George Jetson getting chewed out by his boss, Mr. Spacely, over videochat. In fact, the technology, is older than that, and was conceptualized as early as the late 1800s. The German Bundespost offered (albeit short-lived) commercially-available service the1930’s. AT&T announced its Picturephone product at the 1964 World’s Fair, though the service never quite took off, reportedly maxing out at 500 subscribers nationwide.

This time it’s different…

What makes this time different? According to Cisco’s VP of Consumer Marketing, Ken Wirt, three things are different this time. The quality and ubiquity of HD displays, the increased average household bandwidth, and exponentially increasing processing power have converged to create a ‘perfect storm’ for telepresence.

With apologies to Elvis Costello

Writing about telepresence is like dancing about architecture

Or was that Frank Zappa? In any case, as with HD or 3D, trying to explain telepresence to someone who hasn’t seen it is akin to trying to explain the color blue to a blindfolded person. You kind of have to see it to understand it. I had a chance to test drive the product last week before the official product announcement, and must say that—even as a professional skeptic--I left the demo thoroughly impressed. The so-called “immersive” effect (allowing you to ‘see what others are feeling’ ) is quite noticeable, and is what distinguishes it from a garden-variety Skype video or web-based video chat program. There is near perfect synchronization between audio/video, and people appear life sized on the screen. Ken Wirt cited a study showing that 55% of all conversation is non-verbal. It’s no surprise that it is our body language, the nods and raised eyebrows, shaking heads, smiles and smirks, that distinguish a phone call from a ‘carbon-based’ face-to-face meeting.

The Uncomfortable Topic of Money

The price tag is steep, at $599 for the unit, plus a monthly fee of $24.99 for unlimited ūmi calls, video messaging and video storage. The system will be sold through Best Buy/Magnolia Home Theater stores, bestbuy.com and on the cisco website. The service requires a minimum of 3.5 Mbps to work in 1080p, though it can be optimized for use at lower speeds, as low as 1.5Mbps for 720p. This means that the service will largely be limited to those with cable broadband or FTTx. Cisco believes that 34% of US households have this type of upstream capability—which is in line with Strategy Analytics’ own estimates.

The Network Effect

Back in the early days, the phone company sold “telephone pairs,” with the understanding that the value of the network lies in the number of nodes. A telephone network with one phone is not terribly valuable. Nor is a telepresence unit if there’s nobody on the other end. Cisco has partially circumvented this problem by providing interoperability with Google video chat, though if you’re spending $600 on a unit, you probably want the “real thing.” The real value of telepresence will be realized when there is a robust network of equipped households. While family video-calling seems the most obvious use-case, its utility seems rather limited. How many times do we really want to videochat with Grandma each month? Unless and until the network reaches critical mass, the appeal and draw of video calling will be very limited. Rather than a consumer mass market play, the real opportunity might very well be in the Business to Consumer (B2C) space. If private industry can help subsidize and drive the technology more mainstream, it could hit the critical mass it needs. Cisco talked about a number of other potential applications, three sound like potential winners in driving telepresence forward. These include

Financial Services: A $600 upfront investment and $25/month is a drop in the bucket for a company trying to prove its value to high net worth clients. For the cost of a few steak dinners, a Financial Services company could equip a client’s living room and increase the frequency of “touch points.”
Health Care: While the chatter around Telemedicine never seems to cease, this is one application where it actually could make sense. An insurance company might find it financially beneficial to subsidize a unit for a patient requiring regular and routine examinations, or for medical compliance monitoring (“Did you take your pills Mrs. Smith?”)
Distance Learning: How about tapping into the multi-billion dollar distance learning market in the US.  Equip every “Phoenix” with a system? That’s what I call scale.

I want one… but not for $599 plus $24.99/month

Many who experience the technology firsthand will want one for their own living room. It’s cool. It works well, and the potential applications are only limited by the imagination. It’s light years ahead of pc-based chat. On the flipside, the price is high. Too high. And when you add on the 24.99/month fee, it starts to feel like another cable bill. Survey research conducted by Strategy Analytics in Q3’10 shows that 30% of Americans showed some interest in a service of this type. Importantly, though, 46% of those interested said they are often concerned about their ability to afford regular household bills, 45% said they worried about signing up to new fixed term contracts when buying new products and services. TELEPRESENCE_INTEREST

Adoption Will be Slow But Steady

Cisco would certainly admit that the $599 price point is untenable for the long run, and as volumes slowly ramp up, we should expect to see price points come down. If Cisco is successful in getting private industry into the game, and a subsidy model takes hold, we could see adoption speed up. The other barrier standing in the way of rapid adoption is broadband. While today only one-third of households have the minimum required bandwidth to support the system, this will certainly increase going forward. We estimate that by 2015, over 60% of all US households will have at least 1.5 Mbps upstream capabilities. Stay tuned…we’ll be putting out a Telepresence report in the upcoming


September 9, 2010 18:09 dmercer
Many thanks to Jeff Baumgartner at Light Reading for reminding me of my post last September concerning ActiveVideo Networks and the company's suitability as a potential Cisco acquisition. I had also just noted that ActiveVideo is planning to exhibit on Cisco's stand at this year's IBC starting tomorrow. I'm sure the relationship is quite harmless at the moment, but who knows where things may lead? If you're at IBC, hurry to register for our free-to-attend 3DTV Analyst Forum. We’ll be presenting great insights from our 3DTV research, and Sky’s Brian Lenz, who has headed up the company’s 3D initiative, will be giving the audience his thoughts on our findings as well as an update on Sky’s 3D launch plans. Attendees are invited to register in advance by visiting www.strategyanalytics.com/ibc2010.html. Meet Our Analysts: 3DTV Analyst Forum at IBC 2010 Add to Technorati Favorites

September 7, 2010 23:09 dmercer
This year’s IFA www.ifa-berlin.de nicely summed up the opposing challenges facing the next wave of TV technologies. The plethora of new connected TVs on display from every major manufacturer seemed barely able to cope with the variety of Internet and managed content and applications available. By contrast, the many 3D-enabled TVs seemed starved of suitable material with which to show off their capabilities. Watching the 3D story unfold at IFA also served as a nice hors-d’oeuvres to this weekend’s IBC in Amsterdam, when you can learn more about industry and consumer adoption of 3D at our Analyst Forum: it’s not too late to register at www.strategyanalytics.com/ibc2010.html. Given that internet TV, or connected TV, or “smart TV”, depending on your preferred nomenclature, has been at least a decade in the making, perhaps it is inevitable that it seems to be making faster progress towards mass market adoption than 3DTV, which, in spite of decades-old visions, has really only begun to gather speed in the last year or two. Nevertheless, it was clear from duplicate and triplicate demonstrations of the same 3D animated movies and football games that the dearth of 3D-originated content remains 3DTV’s biggest challenge. Which makes it all the more strange that most of IFA’s big names were extremely reluctant to promote the ability of their 3DTVs to turn bog standard 2D into 3D content, on the fly and with no additional hardware required. As various Sony, Panasonic and Samsung representatives explained, to one degree or another “in-set” 2D-3D conversion was not yet considered “good enough” to warrant live demonstrations to the German technology-buying public or indeed the rest of the industry. Sony came close to giving the game away: the information board behind a line of 3DTVs noted the fact that any 2D content could be converted to 3D “by pushing a button on the remote control”. But when asked to demonstrate this functionality we were informed it was not possible on the show floor. Samsung’s stand also featured a large number of 3DTV demonstrations, all of which featured 3D-originated content of one sort or another. The only real time 2D-3D conversion demonstration featured games material. Other 3DTV sets around the stand could be switched to 3D conversion but staff were unable to supply glasses so that the effect could be appreciated. Panasonic’s representative was open in admitting that the company was behind in devlopment of in-set 2D-3D conversion technologies, and only included it as a feature “because everyone else was”. I got the strong sense that staff on many stands were tired of deflecting questions about 2D-3D and that their lives would have been made slightly less tedious if demonstrations had been available. The major exception to this was of course Toshiba. Of course, because Toshiba continues to push its Cell processor technology as a platform for real-time rendering and upscaling of 2D to 3D content. Toshiba was the major firm least backward in coming forward with in-set 2D-3D conversion, offering a number of demonstrations open to public view. These included one which claimed to offer conversion of “regular” 3D TV broadcasts to “full” 3D. The demonstration offered side-by-side comparison of otherwise identical content. To my own eyes this was not too impressive, with artefacts clearly visible in the upscaled version, even if the overall effect from a distance was greater sharpness. It was certainly a long way from matching the Blu-ray 3D experience. Toshiba also demonstrated “standard” 2D-3D conversion, which was less problematic although mild “ghosting” effects were visible. However the 3D effect, while obvious, lacked any great depth. Having said that Sony’s TV people were not discussing “in-set” conversion, around the corner the company’s Vaio group had probably the most impressive real-time 2D-3D conversion I have yet seen. A prototype Vaio used a combination of hardware (graphics card) and software (both in prototype development stage) to convert 1080p MPEG4 video to full HD 3D (2*1080p), the equivalent of the Blu-ray 3D standard. The product is currently targeted for Q1 2011 availability as a notebook product. 3D was selectable on the prototype by pressing a 3D button. Clearly the processing power required for this impressive demonstration is unlikely to feature in a TV set in the near future, but it is surely only a matter of time before it becomes widely available in mass consumer products. The sensitivity around 2D-3D conversion was the story that dared not speak its name at this year’s IFA. Yes, the technology is immature and the quality falls short of “true” 3D productions. But that will change and the content-owner dam which is currently holding it back will eventually break. As we will see at our 3DTV Analyst Forum, the TV production industry itself remains unconvinced that it should invest in 3D technology until issues such as this begin to settle down. Meet Our Analysts: 3DTV Analyst Forum at IBC 2010 Add to Technorati Favorites