April 19, 2011
| by Robert Archer
It was the belief of many within the consumer electronics industry that if Hollywood ever stepped up to support the 3D video format, consumers in turn would do their part by purchasing the content.
A recently released study from IHS iSuppli indicates that consumers are doing their part, as spending in the U.S., U.K., Germany and France on 3D Blu-ray discs is expected to grow more than 500 percent in 2011.
IHS says consumer spending on 3D Blu-ray discs in the U.S. and Europe is estimated to reach $213.9 million this year, which is up from $33.8 million in 2010. In terms of unit sales, the research company says these numbers translate to an expected increase from 1.1 million Blu-ray discs sold in 2010 to 7.5 million 3D Blu-ray dics in 2011. “Consumers are snapping up BD3D titles because of a number of positive occurrences in the home 3D segment,” says Richard Baxter, research analyst, video at IHS. “These developments include increasing consumer awareness of 3D technology, rising 3D hardware sales and an expanding catalog of 3D films for the home environment. Meanwhile, the arrival of more BD3D [3D Blu-ray disc] titles in retail stores will enhance the technology’s profile among consumers and encourage 3D hardware adoption. BD3D-enabled households are also likely to buy more BD3D titles if they have a larger slate to choose from.”
According to IHS, BD3D-enabled households are defined as homes having a 3D TV connected to either a 3D Blu-ray disc player or to Sony Playstation 3 video game system with 3D glasses available to watch the content.
IHS says that new releases from Disney that include Tron Legacy, Tangled, Beauty and the Beast and Lion King willl help to drive 3D Blu-ray disc sales in 2011, and the possibility of Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter franchise getting a 3D makeover could push disc sales even further.
Most of the 3D Blu-ray disc sales will come from U.S. consumers with nearly 75 percent of 3D Blu-ray disc sales coming from America. IHS points out that Americans will spend nearly $161 million on Blu-ray discs this year, which is a figure more than four times the $28.4 million they spent in 2010.
Looking ahead, IHS estimates that 3D Blu-ray disc sales in the U.S. should continue to rise through 2014 as the amount of 3D-enabled homes increases from an estimated 3.2 million in 2011 to 22.5 million.
Bob is a dedicated audiophile who has been writing about A/V for Electronic House sister publication CE Pro since 2000.