China to launch 3D television channel


China is set to launch the country’s first 3D television channel. It will begin a trial run on 1/1 before its official launch during Spring Festival later next month, state media reported. The channel will offer 3D programs that will include animation, sports, documentaries, TV dramas, entertainment and live broadcasts of big events. The initial plan is for 4.5-hour packages to be broadcast for free three times, officials of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television said.

Six TV stations–China Central Television (CCTV), and those in Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu province, Shenzhen and Tianjin–will make 3D programs for the channel operated by CCTV.

A 3D TV set is necessary to view the channel. Given the fact that there are 500 million TVs in China, launching 3D channels will expand domestic demand and contribute to boosting the real economy, China Daily reported.

“All stations are investing heavily to prepare 3D programs now,” Mei Jianping, vice-director of CCTV Project Management Department said.

More than 45% of consumers have expressed interest in 3D programs, and 35% said they would buy a 3D TV set, according to a survey by China 3D Industry Academy in March in six cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.

Here’s a list of current 3D networks, worldwide:

n3D United States DirecTV only
Cinema 3D United States DirecTV only
3net United States DirecTV only
ESPN 3D United States 
Xfinity 3D United States Comcast only
WildEarth Worldwide
HIGH TV 3D Worldwide
Eurosport 3D Europe 
Sky 3D United Kingdom and Ireland Sky only
Foxtel 3D Australia Foxtel only
HD1 Belgium and other European countries
Sky 3D Germany and Austria Sky Deutschland only
Anixe 3D German-speaking countries
3D-TV Finland 
Sport 5 3D Israel 
MSG 3D United States Cablevision only
nShow 3D Poland ITI Group only
Penthouse 3D Europe 
Canal+ 3D France
Canal+ 3D España Spain
NEXT Man 3D Poland 
NEXT Lejdis 3D Poland 
NEXT Young 3D Poland 
Active 3D India
BS11 Japan 
RedeTV! Brazil 
Viasat 3D Sweden
Brava3D Europe
Teledünya 3D Turkey
Sky 3D South Korea
Sukachan 3D169 Japan SKY PerfecTV! only
TV Azteca 3D Mexico

RBR-TVBR observation: Consumers have been slow to adopt the technology, with only 2.4 million 3-D television sets making their way into homes in North America. As well, there are still very few 3DTVs that do not require special glasses to view the programming—a hurdle we think is essential for the technology to take off with consumers. Toshiba is one company making them. Another hurdle is standardizing 3DTV products and services. SMPTE, CEA, [email protected] Consortium, ITU and the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) at USC School of Cinematic Arts have created their own investigation groups, as have the UK’s Digital TV Group. So far, HDMI version 1.4, released in 2009, defines a number of 3D transmission formats.