BBC is Not So Ready for 3DTV

LONDON: England broadcaster BBC is not making plans to deliver 3DTV. At least not yet, according to reports from across the pond. Officials at the Beeb aren’t yet certain which format will be adopted for 3DTV and are reluctant to launch it and later have to re-engineer it, says Broadband TV News.

Graham Plumb, the BBC’s head of distribution technology, told BTVN’s sister pub that terrestrial broadcasting’s approach to 3DTV may differ from that of satellite carriers. BSkyB did a limited launch of 3DTV earlier this year over the high-definition infrastructure of its satellite-delivered TV system. The operator is using a frame-compatible format by which the dual images of the 3D content are delivered side-by-side. The format works on BSkyB’s HD set-top boxes.

Members of the European Broadcasting Union recently indicated their preference for using the service-compatible format to deliver stereoscopic TV. They now use the service-compatible method to delivery HDTV. It would require less bandwidth for 3DTV than frame-compatible delivery. However, one-third of EBU members responding to a survey regarding 3DTV said they didn’t think current formats would work over their infrastructures.

Multicasting is another factor in the BBC’s hesitation to adopt 3DTV. The broadcaster has multiple digital channels, similar to many TV stations in the United States. BTVN points out that it would be a “major challenge” to fit 3D signals on existing terrestrial TV systems.

Broadband TV News has more details in “BBC unready to commit to 3DTV format”