French firms are counting on sport and porn to lure viewers into buying 3D TV sets, but mass adoption of the new technology will come only when viewing comfort improves and prices fall, experts say. Three-dimensional (3D) TV sets made by Panasonic, Sony and Samsung hit the French market in May and even if volumes have remained small, manufacturers are betting on a swift take-off. “Viewers reached out with their arms to the candies in the Haribo adverts in theatres. When boobs pop out of the screen it's the same, people reach out to touch them,” said Philippe Gerard, co-founder of 3Dlized, which is working with adult-content producer Marc Dorcel on a new 3D offering.

Since James Cameron's highly profitable Avatar opened the door for 3D technology in cinemas, producers and broadcasters for the box have been rubbing their hands in glee, hoping to bank on life-like effects and the new sensations made possible. Experts see football, rugby and boxing as well as other forms of entertainment such as opera, ballet and erotic shows leading the seduction campaign. Other types of images like those shown in news bulletins are thought to be inappropriate for the new medium. “Unlike HD television, 3D doesn't mean a transformation of television in the short term. We're not going to tell the French: 'Tomorrow you have to get 3D or you won't have a telly',” Gilles Maugars, deputy director for technologies at TF1, told Reuters.

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