Forecast: 3D to Reach Blu-ray First, HDTV Soon After

3D may establish itself as the next big thing in cinema before this year is over, but it will take at least a couple more years for it to get a tangible foothold in the television realm. Still, 3D TV seems like a foregone conclusion for the near future—as a lot of NAB attendees last month may have seen for themselves.

The first commercially available (non-prototype) Blu-ray Disc releases of movie titles in 3D will not happen until at least 2011, according to Futuresource Consulting. The analyst said in a recent study that one big obstacle to bringing 3D into the home is a lack of technical standards for a wide array of presumed 3D display devices.

The next two years will be mainly devoted to 3D projects for motion pictures and movie theaters, not to consumers at home. In fact, several mostly computer-animated feature films this year and in 2010 will be presented in 3D in facilities equipped for the new technology. The movie technologies currently being deployed for theater use do require 3D glasses.

Futuresource predicts that by 2012, up to 10 percent of U.S. TV households will have 3D-equipped HD sets—a penetration rate that could surge to 70 percent by 2015, it says. The analyst cautions that its forecasts largely depend on how quickly the economy recovers from its current ailments.