China Adds 3DTV, France Drops It

BEIJING & PARIS—3DTV continues to get mixed reviews in the new year as the world’s most populous country launches 3DTV broadcasts while a major French network drops the format.

China Central Television, the world’s largest broadcaster reaching a potential billion viewers in China, recently launched the country’s first 3D TV channel on a trial basis, with a formal rollout planned during the upcoming Chinese New Year (Jan. 23), according to the BBC. The channel is operated by CCTV and five local stations.

The free-to air channel will broadcast 4.5 hours of 3D programming daily, which will be repeated twice. Other Asian countries that have also launched 3DTV trails include Japan, South Korea and India. China is estimated to have more than 500 million TV sets.

In Europe, Canal Plus, one of France’s largest pay-TV networks, announced that it would discontinue its 3D channel, which was launched in mid-2010, according to The channel carried movies, sports and event programming but the company said that it never reached beyond 12,000 subscribers. Canal Plus said the channel will shut down on Jan. 24 and that it would reconsider a launch in the future depending on consumer demand. It said it would instead concentrate on its HD offerings.