Article Overview

3D TV Briefing Document for Senior Broadcast Management

The value of 3D to the audience

The perception of the public towards 3D is predominately determined by cinema experiences. In spite of this, the consumer electronic manufacturers are promoting 3D as the next big desirable viewing experience in the home. The EBU believes that public service broadcasters (PSBs) must take a pragmatic approach to 3D services and they should be aware of the value of an event or programme to its audience when making decisions about producing and broadcasting in 3D.

3D TV Synopsis – What is important for EBU Members?

Programmes such as the Olympics and Eurovision Song Contests can be regarded as an "appointment to view" where an audience will be prepared to use glasses and watch 3D content instead of a 2D simulcast. This may not be the case with day to day viewing where the 2D version will just seem easier to watch.

Certain content genres such as wildlife documentary, especially macro and animation elements and some live events in smaller size areas can deliver a very immersive 3D viewing experience.

The display market

It is expected that all larger displays will be 3D capable in the future. For PSBs it is important to understand the potential number of households that are equipped with 3D capable displays.

GfK figures (Oct. 2010) suggest:
It is expected that by 2014 about 42% of all purchased display devices will be 3D capable. The number of 3D devices in Europe is expected to be 600 000 by the end of 2010, and by the end of 2011, about 3 Million devices. The primary question is whether consumers will accept 3D at all and whether they will invest in additional glasses (usually the displays are sold with one or two pairs of 3D glasses).



Creating good 3D content requires special equipment and skills. The current position of 3D rights is unclear, and public service broadcasters must pay close attention to developments in the discussions of 3D rights. PSBs should grasp their responsibility to inform and educate the public about 3D for Television (in a way similar to that done for HDTV).

3D content is best produced with a particular range of screen sizes - home (30" to 70"), cinema or IMAX in mind. Stereographers use different depth budgets for cinema and TV. Disparity (see glossary) that produces a good but large 3D effect on TV could cause extreme ‘pain’ as your eyes try to look in opposite directions in the cinema! Making 3D that is OK on all screen sizes may be just that; OK but not stunning. This means that 3D content produced for the cinema requires post-processing to work adequately on consumer sized displays (and vice-versa). Not following this guideline will generally lead to unsatisfactory results.

3D TV Briefing Document for Senior Broadcast Management