As 3D-enabled televisions continue to fly off the shelves and into Australian homes, some broadcasters are still mulling the value of 3D terrestrial broadcasts, including the Seven Network's group general manager of technical services, Trevor Bird, who finds the technology clumsy.
The Seven and Nine networks along with SBS conducted a trial of 3D broadcasts on special channels last year, where owners of compatible 3D televisions could tune in and take advantage of a new dimension in broadcasting.
Speaking at the Australian Broadcasting Summit in Sydney today, Bird said that he personally doesn't see the point of 3D in its current form, adding that it's often cumbersome and exclusive.
"I don't even know the answer to 3D," Bird admitted from the outset.
"Personally, I think 3D has to come quite a way until we get to [mass market consumption]. I'm an advocate of TV as a wallpaper; mum's out there chopping up the veggies and dad's out there bathing the cat or whatever, and they look up and watch the telly like wallpaper," he told the packed room.
"They're not going to just pick up the glasses and have a look and say 'gee, look at that', and then he has to go and get his glasses [just to watch it]. I think we need to get to a point where 3D is a lot less clumsy."
The TV executive went on to add that there wasn't a huge imperative for the Seven Network to perfect 3D at this point in time, due to the fact that the market isn't calling out for 3D terrestrial broadcasts en masse.
"I'm not quite sure at this stage whether there's much requirement for take-up [of 3D broadcasts]. We're just driven by what people actually want to see. We want to try and get our pictures and our services to meat-and-potatoes Australia. We're just trying to make content for the masses," he said.
Seven, Nine and SBS all submitted post-trial reports to the Australian Communications and Media Authority last year on how their 3D trials went and few 3D terrestrial broadcasts have been seen since.