3D for Wimbledon - the future of TV?

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The first time I visited Wimbledon I expected it to look and feel exactly like it does on television. After years of sitting in front of the screen watching the balls, and spectators' heads, swinging backwards and forwards I thought I knew what sitting on Centre Court would be like. I realised that I didn't, and that while TV can do a great job it can't capture the magic of actually being there.

Like most of us I've never been lucky enough to sit and watch a finals match on Centre Court. But this year - the Wimbledon Championships' 125th anniversary - I've been working with others inside and outside the BBC to try to bring you the next best thing - the Wimbledon Singles' Finals, in 3D.

Wimbledon always feels timeless - but actually it has been home to successive TV sport innovations from an early appearance in colour, through to Hawk Eye technology.

We know that tennis can look thrilling in 3D - it can really bring the power players put into shots to life. I've been lucky to see some of the incredible test shoots we've been running, as the team are busy working behind the scenes to get everything in place for the broadcast, but I can't wait to see what a real match played by two of the world's finest will look like.

The broadcasts will be available to everyone with access to an HD service and a 3D TV set, via BBC HD, whether you get your TV from Freesat, Freeview, Sky or Virgin Media. And if you don't have a 3D TV, there are some opportunities to watch the broadcast in the cinema.

The BBC's been experimenting with 3D for decades - but as we all know the latest developments in 3D technology have made it much, much more sophisticated as a viewing experience, and we've been working with the All-England Club and Sony Professional for this BBC first. It will also be the first time that 3D broadcasting has been tried out across all the different TV providers so that it's accessible without subscription.

For all of us who don't have a 3D set at home, or a Centre Court ticket, the finals will of course be shown on BBC One and in HD on BBC One HD, as well as all the BBC's regular Wimbledon coverage - on TV, radio, and online.

I don't know yet whether 3D will be the future of television, or the future of Wimbledon: that's why we're doing this experimental trial. But I am really excited to experience the finals this year in 3D. And if you are able to watch in 3D I'd love to know what you think.

Danielle Nagler is the Head of BBC HD and 3D

  • Danielle made a speech about the BBC's plans for 3D at the 3D World Forum in May.
  • BBC Sport covered the news that Wimbledon will be the first 3D programming on the BBC.

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