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17 June 2010

Singapore faces challenges in 3-D TV

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Industry players have highlighted two key challenges : the demand for 3-D, and the program content that will be available as Singapore embarks on a trial to bring 3-D TV content to homes.

On June 15, a yearlong nationwide trial to bring the 3-D experience to the homes was launched. The trial will test 3-D transmission signals on free-to-air television, cable TV and Internet Protocol Television.

Industry players are confident they can deliver the 3-D content, they told Channel News Asia.

Titus Yong, vice president, SingTel Satellite, SingTel, said: "Technically, operationally, there's absolutely no problem. We're ready. We can deliver 3-D content to the homes already."

It is the consumer who may make or break the product.

Mr. Yong said: "It's a question of whether the consumers are ready with the right TV sets - are they ready to pay for it and are they ready to really embrace 3-D TV.

"At the end of the day, it's only when the adoption by the end-user is there, then it would make business sense for the channel operation people or the broadcaster to bring in more content, and be able to deliver this to the homes."

Closely pegged to demand is content. The Media Development Authority has set aside S$5 million to help developers create content and services.

Max Kang, assistant general manager, Panasonic Systems Asia Pacific, said: "That's why to a certain extent, effort has to be put in for content development - from the standard sports programmes, lifestyle programmes, even gaming in 3-D is also getting more popular.

"And I believe that will be the driving force for the increase in demand for 3-D flat panels."

The viewer will need to buy a 3-D ready television set, which costs about S$5,000 now.

A viewer commented: "For any technology, it comes out first (at a) very high (price), then as time goes by, it'll just become the norm."

Another said: "Somewhere between S$500 and S$1,000 premium would be pretty reasonable to add 3-D technology."

However, a third added: "I don't really prefer (having an) expensive TV in my living room. I just prefer 2-D - it's enough for me."

Industry players should get a better picture when the National Day Parade comes by in August, as it will be the first large-scale event to be recorded in 3-D.


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