China test-launches 3D TV channel

Jan 02, 2012
File illustration photo shows television sets at an electronics store. China's state broadcaster has test-launched a 3D television channel in a bid to draw viewers and drive consumption by encouraging people to upgrade to 3D-capable sets.

China's state broadcaster has test-launched a 3D television channel, state media said, in a bid to draw viewers and drive consumption by encouraging people to upgrade to 3D-capable sets.

Viewers in the world's largest TV audience now can watch the China Trial Channel with a 3D TV, special glasses and a set-top box, said.

The 3D channel broadcasts three daily rotations of four-and-a-half hours of 3D content such as performing arts, cartoons, movies and sports, and promises programming from the upcoming London Summer Olympics.

State-run China Central Television launched the service Sunday, initially free of charge, with partners Beijing TV, Shanghai Media Group, Jiangsu TV, Tianjin TV and Shenzhen TV -- reaching China's biggest viewing and advertising markets.

To make up for current slim pickings in 3D programming available in China, or elsewhere, each partner broadcaster has established specialist 3D production units, Xinhua said.

The channel is due to have its full official launch on January 23 to mark the start of the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, when Chinese traditionally travel home and watch special variety TV programmes together.

In a year when the central government in Beijing has warned about a slowdown in China's economic growth, its head broadcast regulator told Xinhua the 3D channel can create demand for 3D TV sets "worth hundreds of billions of yuan."

"The launch of the 3D trial channel is a significant step in the development of China's television," Cai Fuchao, head of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, told Xinhua.

CCTV has in recent years fought fiercely not to lose viewers to more progressive programming at BTV, SMG and satellite channels such as that from central China's Hunan province.

China has roughly 500 million TV sets, according to Xinhua, and now also is home to more than 500 million Internet users and the fastest growing movie box office in the world, up more than 60 percent last year to $1.5 billion.

With their eyes fixed on the 3D channel test, some retailers of Chinese-made 3D TVs slashed the prices of a typical 42-inch model, often in half, to around 5,000 yuan ($790), the Made-in-China tech gadget blog reported in November.

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User comments : 5

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RobertT
3 / 5 (2) Jan 02, 2012
Oh delusional news media... 3D TV is a DOWNGRADE!
Vendicar_Decarian
1 / 5 (1) Jan 02, 2012
RobertT is right. Technological advances in China are leaving America in the dust.
gwrede
not rated yet Jan 02, 2012
We have an ability to perceive reality quite well through 2D media. I just watched Die Hard 4 at home, and never once longed for a 3D version. The fights and chases, and the perilous and high places all felt real. And the funny thing is, I actually remember the action in 3D. I guess we all do.

Back when I was a child, Wiew-Master sold 3D cameras and slide projectors, and already a hundred years ago you could buy a 3D camera. None took off. Ever. When interrogated on why people didn't buy them, they gave excuses. But the fact is, there really is no added value in the normal case.

You can't easily take a screen shot and include it on FB or email or print it. And a 3D picture in a magazine on the coffee table? You can't even see it from across the room, while a 2D picture is essentially the same in your hands an across the room.

Yes, science, X-rays and computer games may improve, but hardly anything else.
Vendicar_Decarian
4.2 / 5 (5) Jan 03, 2012
Ya... People used to say the same thing about Black and White TV, AM Radio, 8 track tapes, and Typewriters.

gwrede
not rated yet Jan 03, 2012
Ya... People used to say the same thing about Black and White TV, AM Radio, 8 track tapes, and Typewriters.

Yes, and that's why investors keep on backing 3D projects. But it's different with 3D. But then, I'm not here to convince anyone.

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