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BBC to take cautious approach to 3D 'hype'

Tests but no shows before mid-2012

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The BBC seems no more keen on 3D TV than licence payers, at least for the moment.

In an update to the BBC's technology strategy, published last night, the Corporation confirmed it will not be rolling out a 3D channel until mid 2012 at the earliest, though it does plan to "investigate the technology challenges 3D produces through a series of trials".

The BBC is being cautious because there is "no standardisation of the technologies for acquisition, post production, contribution or distribution" of 3D TV content.

That's clearly a problem because it increases costs - not a trend that will be accepted in the "broader, more diverse and often less well funded television making community" in Britain today, the BBC said.

We'd add that there's relatively little indication viewers want 3D, at least until it becomes a standard feature on reasonably priced tellies.

That's a few years away, and the BBC admits its current 3D strategy is a short-term one, running to mid-2012. Then, either the Corporation will be in a position to develop a specific 3D programme strategy - or the current 3D standards will have failed to deliver or take off.

The eponymous body that oversees the DVB digital TV technology late last month put a DVB 3D standard in place.

We suspect next June's Wimbledon tennis tournament may form the basis for one of the aforementioned trials. Sony said yesterday that it will be shooting the semi-finals and finals in 3D. It will be working with the BBC, it said, which will be recording them in 2D. It's a perfect opportunity for BBC engineers and producers to work with 3D kit provided by Sony. ®

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