Katzenberg Predicts 'Robust' 3-D HD Sales

While virtually every computer-animated feature-length movie these days (which also count themselves among the highest-grossing) are offered in both 2-D and 3-D in theaters, until quite recently 3-D HD sets in the home were widely seen as still a few years off. But that seems to be changing rapidly among industry leaders, while others are far more cautious.

Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation SKG, said at the recent 3-D Entertainment Summit in Los Angeles that he sees several CE companies now on track to roll out 3-D HD television sets (and perhaps 3-D Blu-ray players) as early as calendar year 2010. As for the 3-D HD sets, he's now predicting "robust" sales when the products begin appearing — and especially by the 2010 holiday sales season. (It's also in DreamWorks' best interests, of course, that 3-D sets sell as rapidly as possible.)

Katzenberg acknowledged that heavy penetration of 3-D products in the home likely will take several years to achieve (especially given the high sales volume of new HD sets without 3D in the past couple of years), but he seems far more optimistic about 3D home penetration than he was a year ago, according to published reports.

Meanwhile, other industry observers seemed to offer somewhat more reserved 3-D forecasts. Market analyst DisplaySearch predicted at the same L.A. summit that less than two million 3-D-equipped TVs will ship worldwide in 2010. And while DisplaySearch sees that number doubling by 2012 and perhaps reaching 12 million 3-D sets globally by 2013, that would still represent only a tiny fraction of DTV households worldwide.