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You may've to wait a long while for 3D on television
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CHANDIGARH: First, Neelam Desai waited for 3D televisions — the best it gets to life-like moving images today — to come to India. In April, when Samsung launched the first 3D televisions in India, the Mumbai-based homeopath promptly spent Rs 1.2 lakh on a 40-inch set for her two teenage daughters. Now, even as they enjoy the occasional 3D movie on DVD, the Desais wait for the day when they can also watch TV channels in the same real-life mode. They are in for a long wait.

It will be a couple of years before they can feel, say, a tiger jump out of their TV sets. Broadcasters and service providers (cable and DTH) are yet to start the long and expensive transition from 2D to 3D. Broadcasters need to receive or shoot their programmes in the 3D format, and buy more space on satellites. Cable and DTH providers also need more satellite space to transmit 3D images.

Discovery is the only channel in India to have applied with the government for a 3D licence. “We applied for it three months ago, but are not sure when it will come through,” says Rahul Johri, Asia-Pacific senior vice-president and general manager India, Discovery Networks. “It will take us nine months to one year to roll out a 3D network from the time we get the licence.”

Salil Kapoor, chief executive officer of Dish TV, India’s largest DTH player, says broadcasters will take a “couple of years at least” to be 3D-ready. The industry is still making a transition to the high-definition (HD) format, which falls somewhere between 2D and 3D.

In HD, the image is five times sharper than the standard TV image, but not as real as a 3D image. “Only when the transition to HD is complete will 3D come into the picture,” says Mr Kapoor. “Even HD took more than half a decade to become mainstream.”

TV manufacturers, however, are not waiting for broadcasters. LG launched its 3D sets earlier this month. Sony and Panasonic will launch within a month. Their keenness to be in the 3D space can partly be attributed to perception. Says Rohit Pandit, business head (home entertainment), LG India: “Every manufacturer would like to position itself as a technology leader, whether it is the right time (for a product) or not.”

The bigger reason is that TV manufacturers recognise that 3D is the source of the next leap in technology — and, by extension, in sales of the Rs 15,000-crore industry.

Source: The Economic Times

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HD is maturing with more channels yet to come in so it will be long from now that 3D will be released.
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