HD bandwidth limits BBC Olympics 3D coverage
Highlights show, two ceremonies, one race
The BBC has revealed what parts of next summer Olympic Games it plans to beam into homes in glorious 3D-o-Vision.
And it's not an awful lot, really. The opening and closing ceremonies will be transmitted in 3D, as will "nightly highlights" of each day's athletic antics.
We were hoping for the ladies' beach volleyball tournaments to get the 'out of the screen and in yer face' treatment, but we'll have to make do with the men's 100m final instead.
We'll seeing what's on the other side, then…
And that's your lot. Even the main ceremonies may not be shot and streamed entirely in 3D, but in general Auntie is keeping the 3D stuff to a minimum to ensure there's sufficient bandwidth to present as many of the events live in HD as possible. Which is probably the sensible approach, given the inevitably gimmicky nature of 3D. ®
... it really is deader than dead.
Re: Re: What about the 5th HD channel capacity?
Red button is just a fancy/redundant way of changing channel! I use the channels during Wimbledon constantly, but find it far simpler to just change directly to the channels, usually 801/802
There is another way
Another option, though it relies on boxes having an up to date MHEG engine, is to broadcast 3D in the way they did for the StreetDance 3D film over the New Year holiday.
That had the broadcast in the standard side by side format, with an MHEG app that allowed views to press Red for 2D.
When they did that, it scaled the left hand side of the screen to full size. Details are at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/researchanddevelopment/2012/01/2d-compatible-3d-broadcasts.shtml
This method means you have both on a single channel, but it does risk confusing people wanting to watch in 2D (unless the app auto-started, perhaps...). It also means that if you use a non-Freeview HD receiver that doesn't have an MHEG engine, you can't see anything other than the 3D version.
There are research projects on methods for encoding the difference/depth information, so you can have a completely 2d compatible broadcast, but they're not yet standardised, so the MHEG trick is the only way you can really do it right now, and be sure it'll work with consumer equipment - anything with a Freeview HD/Freesat badge should have a compatible MHEG engine to handle the scaling.
My guess is that, for the Olympics, they don't want to run the risk of even a few people complaining about not being able to get the 2D version - rather different to a minority interest holiday film with '3D' in the title.