Scoring with 3D TV

Document Sample
Scoring with 3D TV Powered By Docstoc
					Scoring with 3D TV

              Focus sponsored by:
               Sponsored feature

3D: show me the
With a number of commercial 3D channels due to be
launched in the second half of 2010, ADB’s Paul
Bristow looks at how the industry can turn 3D into a
real revenue generator
            D TV is one of the hottest topics     must overcome in terms of delivering 3D              The main focus for operators will be to

3           on the agenda for almost
            everyone within the payTV
industry and is set to be a major theme at
                                                  video to their subscribers' TV sets, little has
                                                  been written about the biggest - and
                                                  arguably most complex - challenge: the
                                                                                                    understand exactly how their subscribers
                                                                                                    consume 3D TV and build a programme
                                                                                                    guide that makes it easy and intuitive for
IBC 2010 in Amsterdam. It is also the latest      viewing experience. Getting the consumer          users to access 3D programming as part of
in a long line of new TV technologies that        experience right will dictate whether 3D TV       their every day TV viewing. The key will be
present both an opportunity and a                 becomes a mainstream subscriber service           enabling subscribers to customise their
challenge for operators. 3D is all the rage       or remains a niche offering.                      programme guide to tailor for individual
following blockbuster movie successes like           But, some will say, consumer experience        preferences - not everybody will want to
Avatar and Alice in Wonderland, and               has always been a central element for any         watch 3D in the same way.
operators around the world are looking to         new payTV service. At ADB we                         Another difference between the cinema
offer consumers a third dimension to their        wholeheartedly believe it is - and it is why      and the living room is that for movie-goers,
TV viewing experience. Several operators          consumer experience is our big focus in the       the 3D programme was their sole focus for
have already announced firm plans for a 3D        development of advanced digital TV                the duration of the feature: there were no
TV service including BSkyB in the UK, and         platforms. But with 3D TV, the challenge of       distractions, no other channels vying for
DirectTV and ESPN in the US.                      getting it right takes on an even more            their attention and no remote controls.
   For many, the opportunity and challenge        important role in encouraging consumers to        There were also no other screens (mobile
presented by 3D TV appears to be                  subscribe to services. Why? Because while         or PC) available for checking email or social
relatively straightforward. It's no secret that   millions were happy to sit and watch a            networks. They put on the glasses at the
payTV subscribers are always looking to           three-hour 3D movie, the way in which             start of the movie and probably only
their service provider to offer the very latest   subscribers will consume 3D in the home           removed them at the end of the feature.
video entertainment services, and operators       will be very different to the way that they
are always looking for opportunities to           do in a movie theatre, and operators need         3D UX building blocks
launch new revenue-generating services.           to tailor their service accordingly.              The following text looks at the key elements
Just in the last decade operators have               One of the reasons for the success of          to building this consumer experience.
delivered HD, PVR, advanced interactive           Avatar was the painstaking attention to              Look and feel. It's critical that any
services and internet applications.               detail that had gone into optimising the 3D       operator delivering 3D services has a
   But operators also know that their             experience. This, I believe, will be the key to   compelling 3D programme guide that is
subscribers have changed over the last ten        the successful adoption of 3D TV services         both consistent with the 2D experience
years. Whereas a decade ago they would            into the mainstream over the next few years       they have become used to (launching a 3D
put up with a patchy service or reliability       - designing a user experience that makes it       service with a completely new EPG will
issues, modern payTV subscribers are tech         as easy for consumers to enjoy three-             make adoption more difficult) and lives up
savvy, know what they want and expect             dimensional programming alongside as is it        to the rich 3D TV experience it is wrapping.
value for their monthly subscription - and        to watch their favourite 2D content and              Another key is to replicating the intuitive
failure to deliver it is simply unacceptable.     interactive services. This creates a potential    navigation, menu structures and speed of
                                                  problem for operators in that consumers           an existing 2D guide. Consumers will not
The 3D experience in the home                     will expect the same experience from 3D           want to use a 3D programme guide that
While much has been written about the             TV services - and won't understand if they        they see as a step backwards in terms of
challenges (or lack of them) that operators       don't live up to these expectations.              usability compared to its 2D predecessor.

page two                                                                    Cable & Satellite International sept-oct 2010
                                                                                   Sponsored feature

    Delivering all of this 3D richness requires   subscribers' TV viewing. The consumer             Evolutive. This is perhaps the single
understanding where in three dimensions a         experience for any 3D TV service must          most important aspect of delivering a
consumer wants it. Too much 3D effects,           make it easy for viewers to manage their TV    successful 3D TV service. The last ten years
and menus could encroach too far into the         viewing around these other activities.         have shown that media consumption trends
living room; not enough, and the                     Again, the programme guide plays a          change rapidly and any 3D service must be
programme guide will look flat and the            central role in the perceived ease of          able to evolve. Whether this means adding
sense of a third-dimension will be lost. Any      consuming 3D content; operators that make      new channels, incorporating new
movement/animation of the menus/widgets           it difficult to accommodate both three- and    functionality into the programme guide, or
etc also needs to be understood to ensure         two-dimensional content will find it harder    adding new services the consumer
that the 3D effect is created across the          to encourage consumers to watch                experience will need to be developed in 3D.
whole programme guide - and not just              increasing amounts of 3D TV.                   In many cases this is as much about the
when moving forward and back.                        One obvious challenge here is the use of    hardware and software platform as it is
    Getting the look and feel right requires a    glasses. Much has been written about           about the user experience, but without the
series of complex calculation to be made,         consumers' willingness (or lack of) to         right platform from the start, evolving 3D
and requires an understanding of how big          repeatedly put on and take off the glasses     services will likely prove costly.
the TV screens will be, how far the menus         required to view 3D video. While there is         To prove the point we have developed
should “jump” out of the screen, how each         still no consensus over which 3D               our existing Carbo 3D programme guide to
object will move, and how users will              technology will win - passive or active - it   work on an existing sub-$200 platform. For
customise their guide. Every element of the       makes sense to assume that consumers will      operators using an ADB set-top-box and its
programme guide then needs to be drawn            have to wear glasses for the foreseeable       open-standard software stack, deploying a
to create the illusion of a third dimension.      future and build a 3D programme guide          3D programme guide with which to launch
This is time consuming, requires a degree         that enables users to access and view all      3D TV channels can be achieved in just ten
of experimentation, and, can be costly, but       content (2D and 3D) while wearing them.        weeks and delivered to consumers' set-top
creating a compelling 3D EPG will make the           Another important part of creating a        boxes via an over-the-air update. It also
difference between the successful adoption        compelling 3D user experience is to make it    means that should subscriber trends
- or failure - of a 3D TV service.                easy for consumers to turn the 3D guide on     change, or an operator wants to launch an
    On and off (and on again). TV                 and off quickly and easily, should they want   updated programme guide, this can be
viewing is a much more fragmented                 to. Making consumers navigate to the           done quickly and easily.
experience than watching a movie in a             device settings menu every time they want
cinema. Where cinema-goers were focused           to change between dimensions will, we          Long-term plans
only on the 3D movie, there are many other        believe, mean that subscribers will be less    Despite the marketing hype by some early-
activities that intersperse the average           likely to experiment.                          adopters, operators should be looking at
                                                                                                 3D as a long term opportunity. In the last
                                                                                                 decade alone we've seen the maturity of
                                                                                                 HD, the PVR, VoD and advanced
                                                                                                 interactivity go from niche products and
                                                                                                 services into mass market opportunities.
                                                                                                 There is no reason to believe that 3D won't
                                                                                                 follow suit. The key, however, will be to
                                                                                                 focus less on the video - despite a short-
                                                                                                 term lack of 3D content all the indications
                                                                                                 from the content industry suggest that there
                                                                                                 is plenty in the pipeline - and more on the
                                                                                                 experience that goes alongside it.
                                                                                                    Get the experience right and 3D TV
                                                                                                 could be a real money spinner for the
                                                                                                 payTV industry. Get it wrong and… well,
                                                                                                 we all know the answer to that one,
                                                                                                 don't we?! CSI
                                                                                                 Paul Bristow is VP of Strategy, Consumer
                                                                                                 Experience & Middleware at ADB

Cable & Satellite International      sept-oct 2010                                                 page three
          SEE ME AT IBC ON STAND 5B48

           Contact ADB:

Shared By: