« Previous | Main | Next »

Strictly Come Dancing Final 3D Trial

Post categories:

Andy Quested Andy Quested | 18:00 UK time, Thursday, 8 December 2011

It's been a while since the Wimbledon 3D trials and with Christmas coming (too quickly) we have another chance to trial some more 3D.

Last year we did a studio based 3D test. It was a special Strictly Come Dancing sequence for Children in Need - actually it was the second time Children in Need tried 3D as I mentioned in my "What is 3D blog".

The 2010 trial was such a success we are continuing our 3D trials with the Strictly Come Dancing final from Blackpool!

So... we have decided to do one of the highest viewed, highest profile programmes we have, live in 3D, not from the comfort and safety of Television Centre, but from an outside broadcast in the middle of Blackpool - and a week before Christmas! The phrase "you don't have to be mad to work here, but it helps" springs to mind.

As we did for the Wimbledon finals, we will be transmitting on the main broadcast platforms, Satellite (Freesat and Sky), Terrestrial (Freeview) and Cable (Virgin Media). The programmes will also be shown live in selected cinemas.

At around eleven this morning we changed the Satellite and Terrestrial encoders to 3D mode and at the same time, the BBC HD Channel Promo will have a 24' 3D section added - including an updated version of the HD testcard.

But as you know Terrestrial, Satellite and Cable are only three of the four platforms we have. This time we want to add the fourth platform - BBC iPlayer. We hope to make the 3D version of Strictly available to the version of iPlayer that appears on some of the internet connected 3D TVs and on some connected set top boxes.

It will be a technical trial and we cannot yet guarantee the results across all the different makes, models and types of receiver so we will need your help to identify some of the issues and give us feedback for any future iPlayer trials.

Here are some of the proposed technical details:

  • The left and right pictures will be converted from 1080 line interlace 25 frames a second (1080i/25) to 720 line progressive at 50 frames a second (720p/50).
  • Both images will be sub sampled into a single top/bottom image.
  • Then finally the data rate will be encoded for iPlayer distribution - the data rate is currently a bit on the high side at around 5Mbs

What the 3d iplayer image looks like on a 2d tv

If all goes well I will post details of how to find the 3D version as soon as we make it available with details of the feedback we need.

Andy Quested is Head of Technology, BBC HD & 3D, BBC Technology


Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Super, looking forward. The second of the six trials towards the Olympics.

  • Comment number 2.

    As much as strictly isn't my type of show. Good luck and also would this mean the live internet broadcast will be in 3D (since Nvidia and AMD have 3d support on graphics cards as well as 3D monitors) as well as the iplayer version (well since PS3 has 3D support which is a possibility)

  • Comment number 3.

    Thanks to both for the support. The iPlayer version is really an engineering test. We have only targeted the BBC iPlayer versions on Freesat, Freeview and Cable (via Virgin Media) devices this time. I am not sure what other versions will work but would like feedback all the same.

    You may have spotted we are trying 720p/50, so smooth motion as well - hence the higher bitrate.

    I will say now there is still a lot of work to do but it is a start


  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 6.

    Sadly I lament the BBC using licence fee money to show its sad celebrity flagship programme in 3D and in selected cinemas. This isn't to me a proper use of the BBC's revenue and I am sorry to see the continued wasting of money in this direction. Needless to say, the BBC typically ignore such comments and proceed nevertheless, so please permit me to also say that I did not agree with 3D Wimbledon (though I am not unecessarily opposed to new ideas and change). I just hope that people will see how unproductive it is to spend finite resources on a saturday night entertainment show during these difficult economic times and a time (I might add) when there will and must be a reigning in of what the BBC does and what it spends. If more jobs at the BBC go, these projects will be one reason why those jobs have to sadly go.

  • Comment number 7.

    Are there any plans in place for showing programmes in 3D once the BBC HD channel is closed/replaced by BBC2 HD (assuming the DQF proposal is approved)?

  • Comment number 8.

    @7 these trials are in the run up to the Olympics. I do not think the BBC has plans for 3D after the Olympics. BBC HD will not be replaced prior to the Olympics by BBC 2 HD. Just because they need BBC HD for Olympic coverage, and that is not available on BBC 2.

  • Comment number 9.

    When the BBC is cutting back so much on core activities, and so few people capable of using this, it's not really the wisest thing to be spending money on, is it?

    brand new website, 3D, glossy Christmas promos, the BBC certainly doesn't seem as cash-strapped as it claims it is when funding is due!

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    "This isn't to me a proper use of the BBC's revenue"

    Of course it is. This isn't about what you rather small-mindedly consider a 'sad celebrity flagship programme', it's about advancing the state of TV broadcast technology in the UK and a technical trial of a new platform. That is /exactly/ the sort of thing the BBC should be doing, and has always been supposed to be doing.

    Sometimes they get the technology wrong (e.g. the pointless and obtuse obsession with Flash and DRM) but it's plainly silly to suggest that technology development isn't squarely within scope.

  • Comment number 12.

    Ewan, if by DRM you mean Digital Rights Management. That's anything but pointless and wrong about the BBC working on DRM. You obviously don't work in the creative arts.

    DRM is a vital tool to stop the idiots stealing our hard made work (and believe me, making music, TV and film isn't easy!). If we can't stop people taking it for free we might as well all pack up and go home. The BBC has a duty to protect its content from theft. Also good, robust DRM will enable them to sell the media abroad bringing in a good source of income. And that't can't be a bad thing.

  • Comment number 13.

    So, the BBC iPlayer is basically getting great. The interface is a bit chunky and naff, but it does the job. The quality of the streaming is very good and I'm looking forward to 3D.

    But But But, on my smart TV, the iPlayer volume control is awful: on 2 it is too quiet; on 3 it's booming; on 4 the neighbours are calling noise abatement to confiscate my equipment!
    Is there no halfway house?? Why are the volume quanta so large?

    ( Samsung UE40D6530 )

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    _Ewan_ and Michael Sanders.

    Please stay on topic. DRM is off topic on this post. Any further comments about DRM will be removed.


  • Comment number 16.

    Do I understand that the broadcast will be side-by-side, but the iplayer version top-and-bottom?

    Have you done any analysis into which format works better? Side-by-side or Top-and-bottom?

  • Comment number 17.

    Dear SatelliteInternet. Thanks for the post and the support. Unfortunately as you are outside the UK you will not be able to try it. There has been 3D in the internet for a while but this trail is aimed at internet connected TVs in the living room - so alternate content on the main screen.

    If you keep reading after the 19th you will see how it goes (fingers crossed!)

    Dear emoffatem - thank you for the post. We do have a duty to try out new and popular technologies so we can offer them free to air.

    We are currently carrying out test on all platforms to work through the technology and editorial issues and to gauge public response.

    We value all comments so please join in the discussion after the event

    Dear Keith - thanks for the post, we have no plans yet but this and other 3D trials are there to help us make that decision

  • Comment number 18.

    The PQ on the iPlayer built into my Panasonic Freesat TV is poorer than I can get on iPlayer on a computer. It is soft in comparison. Any reason as to why you are only using the built in iPlayers and not the computer version?

  • Comment number 19.

    Piet Boon -

    You have been put in premoderation because some of your comments have been off topic and disrupting the conversation. Hosting and moderation decisions are off topic on this post. If you wish to appeal a moderation or hosting decision please use the appeals process.


  • Comment number 20.

    I think it's a real waste of money. They should stick to HD.

    In fact, HD is a waste of money when they're making cuts. Scrap it and just broadcast SD.

    The real problem is making TV programmes in Colour - how much extra does this cost? Let's go back to black and white TV.

    Pictures - what frivolity, pictures _and_ sound?! Stick it all on the radio. Close BBC TV down altogether - this is no time for such reckless spending.

    Speech and music on the radio? For goodness sake! There are cheaper ways to get the important information across - send it all in Morse code! One channel of Morse code giving all the news anyone could ever want.

    If you are extravagant enough to want more, pay Sky whatever they ask for it.

    There - that'll save some money and keep everyone happy.


    I'll be enjoying the 1920x1080 broadcasts all week, I'm really looking forward to Strictly in 3D (it's been crying out for it IMO), and will be interested to see 50fps on iPlayer at last - that would be a good option for all sport/dancing/etc on there, even in 2D.


    (P.S. I didn't mean to post this on the other page, but I can't find a delete button!)

  • Comment number 21.

    Dear donkey_hotay - thanks for the post. As I said to emoffatem we do have a duty to try out new and popular technologies so we can offer them free to air. There is a great debate about 3D for film and television and this give you a chance to engage with it.

    Dear citizenloz - thanks for the post and nice to hear from you again. For iPlayer the pictures are being converted to 720p/50 as this is easier to encode given the bandwidth constraints of current ip delivery. Top/Bottom gives us a full 1280 horizontal resolution but a reduced vertical. It is a bit subjective but it's also one of the things we need to test.

    As for why only TV versions of iPlayer - they have a standard and "should" all work in roughly the same way, also virtually all 3DTVs especially those with Freeview HD are connected

    Dear 2Bdecided - please let us have feedback about the two versions

  • Comment number 22.

    Having recently bought a 3DTV I'm really looking forward to seeing Strictly in 3D. It was something of a gamble buying the thing, as the only 3D I'd ever properly seen was an IMAX short film at @Bristol many years ago, but I'm pleased to say that the gamble really paid off and I'm loving it! Even my card carrying skeptic of a boyfriend admits that he might possibly be enjoying it a little bit.

    I went for a passive set, and would be interested to know whether you plan to use side by side or top and bottom on the BBC HD channel for this trial. I think top and bottom would be preferable because that's a better fit for how passive sets display 3D. If you use SBS then everyone (active and passive viewers) loses horizontal resolution but passive viewers then lose vertical resolution as well. If you use top and bottom (TAB? TB? T/B?) then everyone loses vertical but passive viewers shouldn't, as I understand it, lose anything more.

    Just a thought--but an important one as passive sets become more popular.


  • Comment number 23.

    Dear sammyjayuk - thanks for the post. We will be side by side on BBC HD - same as Sky 3D. We are still looking at the best options but are not sure what works across the widest range of material.

    Can I as what glasses you are using? Having tried various makes of passive, I think the better made, the better the 3D.

    Also is your set internet connected? If so you could try a comparison


  • Comment number 24.

    Problem: Samsung TVs won't let you switch to 3D mode when watching iPlayer content via the TV's internet portal. Obviously there's no 3D content there yet, but the TV doesn't always know or care...

    They're happy to switch to 3D mode (side-by-side or top-and-bottom) when iPlayer content is fed from a Freesat STB via HDMI, but Freesat red-button iPlayer doesn't include BBC HD (or any HD content), so presumably won't include 3D?

    They'll be no problem watching it live, or PVR'd from BBC HD on Freesat. But I can't see a way to watch it from iPlayer on this TV. I'm assuming that, even when the 3D content is there, the TV still won't allow me to switch to 3D - what do you think/expect?


  • Comment number 25.

    Dear 2Bdecided - thanks for the feedback - we arealready in touch with Samsung. This may be a metadata issue so I am not sure what we can do in time - you are correct when you say it's OK if fed via the HDMI connectors


  • Comment number 26.

    Hi Andy,

    Thanks for the reply. I have an LG 42LW450U, which comes with a box of two pairs of glasses and “party pack” of 5 pairs. I’m using a pair from the box of two, while my boyfriend uses one of the party pairs. I mention this because the frames are different, although I don’t think there’s any difference in terms of the filters.

    There’s occasionally a tiny bit of crosstalk, but only between areas of very high contrast. It’s only really there if you look for it and has yet to affect my viewing pleasure.

    I decided not to go for a connected set—I have an Apple TV and a PS3 and really didn’t think it was worth it—so I’ll only be able to view the iPlayer version if you make it available on PS3.


  • Comment number 27.

    Dear sammyjayuk. Thanks for the answer. i know the set and the party pack!! I don't think the current implementation will work on PS3 - I will try over the weekend


  • Comment number 28.

    Ian, this morning I recorded BBC HD PREVIEW between 5am and 6 am and did not see any tests. Can you tell us at what time the 3D tests are broadcast, so we can help you.

  • Comment number 29.

    Dear Piet Boon thanks for the post. Over the weekend the 3D section goes out every 2 hours starting 90' after the last programme finishes. The whole promo is just over 2 hours long!

    There is a new version from Monday 12th (well after last programme, so that's Tuesday 13th) but I don't have the duration (cycle time) or position yet.

    We are OK with the broadcasts but will need feed back for the iPlayer version of Strictly and that should be available from late afternoon on 19th


  • Comment number 30.

    Dear Piet Boon - I have just checked - the 3D section started at 09:32 and should be on again at 11:36 and 13:42 (ish)


  • Comment number 31.

    @ Andy,

    This blog is a fantastic source of information, I too have just bought a new 3D Smart TV, in part because of the analogue switch off (April 2012) but also to embrace new technology.
    Given the choice in the shop between a Standard HD Freeview TV and a Smart TV (passive 3D) we made an informed choice, an LG42LW550T.
    Now we have it, we are of course looking for 3D content to watch, as I am sure many others are, or will be in the future.
    I truly hope the BBC's 3D trials go well and that we can look forward to continued great events in 3D.

    PS. As a teenager it was my greatest ambition to work in television, but because of colour blindness I could not, so I have spent the last 30 years working in the NHS. I am still an engineer, good luck to you all.

  • Comment number 32.

    It does annoy me that the BBC are doing these technical test when the BBC is very unlikly to have a 3D service in the next 5 years. When and if the BBC does ever get round to having a regular 3d service the present technology will be out of date and so the tests are a waist of time. Lets face it the BBC HD output is still pathetically poor in both quanity and technical quality. It is also very rare to get surround sound from the BBC. Of course the BBC will waist money on a few hours of 3D for the Olympics and Wimbledon just for prestege while still producing most of its output in SD.

    As for 3D over the internet Youtube has a much better system which supports a wide variety of viewing options including anaglyph and Nvidea 3D. The nvidia output uses html5 which works very well. Iplayer is clearly a technically inferior system but we all know why the BBC chooses technically inferior systems.

  • Comment number 33.

    @32 you do not need a dedicated 3D channel as these tests show. I like 3D events once a while. Did you know that Fashion TV HD broadcasts small 3D programmes several times a day on their regular channel.

  • Comment number 34.

    Dear trevorjharris - welcome back! The EBU has a point of view about colour based 3D systems so I will say no more about them here. You are perfectly entitled to your technical opinions and welcome to join the debate about free to air 3D. As for the BBC HD transmission quality, the tests run to ITU standards clearly demonstrated the answer to that question.

    Dear Piet Boon - thanks for the comment. The iPlayer trials will help us to decide how 3D can be delivered on a sustainable basis over the coming years. I hope you managed to catch the 3D section of the promo yesterday (Saturday) - if not, the same 2 hour cycle applies today. If you have access, i hope you can give use some iPlayer feed back


  • Comment number 35.

    Andy, I have the 24 minute now in the recorder. Loved the dino sequence. My children loved the images coming out of the screen. I have some problems with the tennis images, like in the summer, that the audience at the back is not aligned between the two images.
    Philips tv with active glasses.

  • Comment number 36.

    Dear Piet Boon many thanks. The tennis is a straight copy from the original recordings so does have some of the issues we saw in the live transmission. Still each time gets better and that's what the trials are about - putting 3D cameras into different situations to see what works well and what is better on 2D!


  • Comment number 37.

    I'm really pleased to see the BBC continuing with this innovative technology. Broadcasting is where Britain should lead the world. I hope to see more 3D transmissions in the future.

  • Comment number 38.

    I have just today swapped a samsung 3d set for a panasonic one, Will I be able to view this on iplayer via the TV? I think its great the the BBC are performing these trials, as you need to be prepared for the time when a 3d TV is just a TV (Like HD tvs are now). What I am wondering though, is whether this is enough. I understand that 3d programmes are filmed different and use different shots, but for something like say, planet earth, you could just film all 3d, and then have identical 3d and 2d versions? They take years to produce anyway, so surely it is time to call in a meeting? Also, as a 2nd year A2 media studies student (predicted a*) would there be any chance of work experience in this area? 3d production will be very big in the next few years whether people like it or not, and a career in 3d production is exactly what I want to be a part of! =)

  • Comment number 39.

    After buying a sony 3d 55 inch tv 4 months ago, and trying sky 3d, which uses active
    glasses with side by side images, i can tell you all 3D at the moment as along way
    to go to get picture right. quality is very poor and very soft looking with poor detail
    and resolution. on the plus side the only time 3D starts to look good is when i play back 3D blu ray, but there is still a lack of picture quality and resolution,

    The only way 3D is going to start working well, and looking good, is when 4k TV comes to market..

    Andy Quested
    Tests run to itu standards, well its about time people at the BBC started to open there own eyes, because i still see very poor looking HD from the BBC.....

  • Comment number 40.

    Dear thinboifat many thanks for the post. Is your TV Freesat or Freeview (or both!). Just try any iPlayer content and if it works you will get the 3D version of Strictly BUT remember the data rate is around 4 times the current internet TV rate.

    It is really good to know you are interested in 3D and 3D production. As you probably know the BBC has a website for work experience requests.


    Have a look and see what you think


  • Comment number 41.

    Dear 128fish - thanks for the post. BluRay is (usually) full resolution left and right whereas the current phase 1 TV system is half resolution either Side by Side, Top/Bottom... Phase 2 is already under discussion but it will most likely need a new set top box to get the full Left Right resolution to match BluRay.

    As we have finished the debate on bit rate (to ITU recommendations) there will be no further comment


  • Comment number 42.

    Hi Andy, Excuse my ignorance but- does 3D only come via a HD channel, if so my iplayer interface doesn't list the HD channels? Which channel are the tests running on please?

  • Comment number 43.

    Dear malcolm - thanks for the post. The 3D version of Strictly should appear on the TV version of iPlayer only but I am not sure exactly how yet.

    On Monday 19th I will publish another blog with all the details as soon as we are sure it's all working


  • Comment number 44.

    Dear Andy, Its great to see you doing another 3D trial and hope it all goes well on Saturday from Blackpool!, this is a bit off topic but I feel it is important, there seems to be a slight problem with both BBC One HD and BBC HD, on certain scenes of certain programs a thin line appears on 1:1 pixel mode on the far left (probably about 1 or 2 pixel wide, but the full height of the screen at times) I have found this a bit distracting, it has only appeared in the last week. I have run a few tests of my own and have ruled out my TV and Sky box as it is fine on all other channels and sources. I was wondering if you could investigate it as it could be a problem your end.

  • Comment number 45.

    Sorry Andy I forgot to give examples of programs it is happing on, one example from BBC One HD is EastEnders at varies point of the program and it seems to move with the action of the scene. An example from BBC HD is Mongrols incl the one I recorded last night. I have also seen it on varies parts of the BBC HD Preview.

  • Comment number 46.

    I have now found the HD channel in iplayer on my smart tv, I hadn't realised there was a difference to my Humax foxsat box. I also managed to watch, & record and watch the test earlier today - very impressive prehistoric scenes - more joy than the 3D experience via the internet, smart TV says my broadband is too slow (5MPS)

  • Comment number 47.

    Hi Andy,

    Did you manage to see whether the PS3 app will work for the 3D trial? It would be good to be able to compare the versions on my set, especially as it'll be 720p T/B which I don't think I've seen before.

    Also, could you please confirm the current offsets into the preview loop? The boyfriend apparently caught it the other night and says it's at the start, but I'm not sure.

    Thanks for your help,

  • Comment number 48.

    Please can you tell me when is the bbc hd 3d test on,timiings etc?

  • Comment number 49.

    Dear NSM_HD - thanks for the post. There is a one pixel tolerance in the standards but I will check to see if we have a problem

    Dear malcolm - Thanks - I have tried our iPlayer test material at home and it seems to work - my connection varies from 4 to 6Mbs as reported by the modem so fingers crossed for you!

    Dear sammyjayuk - thanks for the post. At the moment the PS3 is not working but we will try a ideas over the next few days. A new version of the BBC HD Channel promo starts tonight (tomorrow morning after the last programme). It is exactly 2 hours long and the 3D section is 30'52" in for 22'06". So add 30' to the end of the last programme and repeat every 2 hours!

    Dear lee debs thanks for the post - please see the end of the reply to sammyjayuk

  • Comment number 50.


    Just a quick note to say thanks for being so involved!

    Something I was wondering, it's a little off topic so I hope you don't mind, what sort of platform is the PS3 iPlayer implemented using? It feels a bit like the Lovefilm app, and it's very odd that you can't quit using the PS button! Personally I feel that someone ought to port Webkit to it—NetFront is utterly unfit for purpose and to be honest the guys who target it (like the ITV Player and 4oD webapps, and of course the original iPlayer implementation) have about three hells of a lot of patience!


  • Comment number 51.

    Dear sammyjayuk - thanks for the post. Actually I am not sure what the new PS3 iPlayer application does and I have passed on the current issue to the team involved. There are some small but important differences to the 3D file and we may not be able to resolve them in time for the window we have.

    Will keep you up to date as things progress


  • Comment number 52.

    Is there a 3D test stream/programme somewhere on iPlayer us mortals can check now?


  • Comment number 53.

    Dear 2Bdecided. Many thanks for the post - nothing I'm afraid for mortals or immortals at the moment


  • Comment number 54.

    A great woo hoo from me! I've been banging on about 3D for years, first used it in the 70's with a 35mm camera and slides, progressing through the years to 3D on the PC and now a 50" active set. I must be contagious because a workmate has taken the plungs and surprised me when I loaned 20 Blu-ray films - his wife keeps asking what else is on 3D now? When i relayed the fact Strictly is on I could hear her woooop too. Well done...now back to BBC HJ matrix recordings lol (blush)

  • Comment number 55.

    I have just seen the BBC Hd promotional 3d and I loved footage planet dinosaur and I am looking forward to watching strictly come danceing in 3 d

  • Comment number 56.

    I've just registered and am following the info on 3D with great interest. However I seem to be missing something - is there a channel set up purely to promote BBC HD (and 3D)? I have got BBC HD on Freesat 109 but that's it. Where can I watch the 3D promo?

  • Comment number 57.

    Dear bayards122 and Fascimile - thanks for the posts and the support. Glad you like the Dinosaurs clip. Animation and graphics are really good in 3D - just a slight word of warning re Strictly!! Live performance is always a tricky thing to cover in 2D let alone 3D but I am sure it will be good.


  • Comment number 58.

    Dear Smudger51 - thanks for the post.

    The BBC HD Channel promo will go out again after the last programme tonight.

    It is exactly 2 hours long and the 3D section is 30'52" in for 22'06". So add 30' to the end of the last programme and repeat every 2 hours!


  • Comment number 59.

    As Smudger51 has asked - where do you find the BBC HD 3D promo broadcast?

    Where can one find a basic explanation of how the two (left and right) images are to be broadcast/decoded (one assumes alternate fields of the 1080i transmission)?

    The reason I ask - is that my understanding of DVB2 (S or T) is that there is no provision in the specification for 3D broadcast - maybe I am wrong.

    But if I am right - a blue ray 3D disc would be decoded into left and right images (frames) by the player and when they arrive at the tv (via HDMI) the 3D tv would then 'synchronise' these frames with the glasses. ie: there is no 3D decoding in the tv itself.

    So how does the normal decoder of the MPEG4 stream not get confused by what you are transmitting bearing in mind all the intelligent picture processing going on in a tv today (take the two interlaced fields and make a progressive frame along with motion estimation, upscaling, halo reduction etc etc)?

    Maybe the answer to all this is that the 3D tv's DO have a 3D decoder and that there is a spec. for it! Whatever the answer - where can I read an explanation of how it all works - a BBC white paper perhaps?



  • Comment number 60.

    Dear Ian King thanks for the post - have a quick look at the Wimbledon blog for a very simple overview


    We are using the Frame Compatible system. This means we use the same infrastructure to send a single image (side by side) that the 3DTV stretches back to 2 x full width images

    The decoder doesn't know (or care) that the image is 3D, it is just an "odd looking split screen"

    BluRay's can have two full resolution images and the TV does not try and stretch them.

    Crude but simple!


  • Comment number 61.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 62.


    As I posted before this trial is a bit of a waist of money because the BBC is not going to provide any significant 3D in the near future. The trial on freeview and satellite does not make sense to me as Sky has been providing a dedicated 3D channel for ages now. Why have a trial for proven technology other than the "we can do it too" syndrome. Of course we all know that the picture quality from the BBC trial will be faily poor because of the low bitrates the BBC uses. Next year the bitrates will drop again because of the addition of channel 5 to the freeview HD multiplex. How is the BBC going to transmit 3D when that happens. I have been doing my own 3D experiments with a 3D camcorder and monitor. It soon becomes clear that picture quality is more important than 3d. It is only with high quality pictures that 3D become a worthwhile addition.

    As for 3D on Iplayer well again the bitrates are going to ensure poor results. The trial seem to be aimed at people with internet 3D televisions. This must be a very small proportion of viewers because not all 3D televisions support 3D on Iplayer. Of course the majority of people with 3D computer monitors use Nvidea 3D vision which the BBC is not supporting. Youtube supports Nvidea with html5 and webm which is of course an anithma to the closed system BBC approach.

    Unfortunatly the BBC has a fundemental problem with the internet. They are relying on third party ISPs for delivery and so have no control over the quality of service. Sky on the otherhand has bought its own ISP and is bisily increasing its capacity. This will give Sky complete control and they will be able to deliver any bitrate they want in future.

  • Comment number 63.

    Dear trevorjharris. Many thanks for the post. You are knowledgeable and privileged enough to have the technology to make some comparisons. It may be time to wait until those who cannot access 3D via other means to have a say. We have discussed bit rates and quality enough now and the debate concluded the quality of the BBC HD output was as good as if not better than it was at the start and compares very well to others.

    As for iPlayer, again we give people a choice of how to receive and what equipment or suppliers they choose to use.

    I am sure you will continue to contribute to the debate after the current trial.


  • Comment number 64.

    Getting our 3D tv tomorrow (LG 47" 47LW450W) so looking forward to the SCD 3D broadcast. Hoping the wife will embrace the new technology and that I've made the right decision of LG's passive Cinema 3D, over active shutter!!

  • Comment number 65.

    The new bbc 3D preview is quite interesting, i did not know that Planet Dinasor was made in 3D!, I blame my Sky+HD box for the picture of both bbc hd channels looking slightly poor, as the picture of both look fantastic on my freeview hd box, this is why i find bbc hd looks better when it is 1920 on my sky+hd box. It would be interesting to find out what scalling method the sky+hd box uses, it could also be down to the fact sky took the contrast option away, where as my freeview hd box has both brightness and contrast controls. I also find my freeview hd box also upscales SD channels better than my Sky+HD box. I have done tests through my computer and using differnt scale algorithms does make a difference, Lanczos i find gives the best results.

  • Comment number 66.

    Dear derek500 - thanks for the post. There is indeed lots of debate about active vs passive but in the end it's personal choice. Well set up passive looks really good. I would recommend good glasses though! BTW - are you sure you have the model number correct?

    Dear NSM_HD Thanks for the post. The clip in the promo are from the 3D version currently being made - the series was 2D. Interesting point about scaling though

    Hope you both can try the iPlayer version when it goes up on Monday

  • Comment number 67.

    Hi Andy,

    You’ve twice now recommended good glasses when using passive sets. There seem to be quite a few different compatible glasses available for passive sets, and I was wondering whether, in your experience, they enhance the quality of the 3D over and above the glasses that, say, LG provide with the set.

    Although I’ve had no problems viewing “moderate” 3D, I find that when things are placed too far in front of the set my eyes and brain have trouble coping. I’ve put this down to the difference in the apparent distance between the image and the set—my eyes obviously need to stay focused on the set but are probably trying to focus on where the object appears to be, and when that discrepancy is too great my brain is no longer able to comfortably fool itself into staying focused on the set.

    Is that something you’ve found in your testing or is it more related to the quality of the filters in the glasses?

    Also, I’m getting really excited now. Any chance you could, y’know, have the show moved to tonight? :P


  • Comment number 68.

    @Andy Quested. Well spotted it's 47LW450U 47". Unfortunately Dixons have cocked up and it's now coming Sunday (so much for their 'free next day delivery' offer!!) I'll Sky+ SCD for later viewing.

  • Comment number 69.

    Hi Andy

    I recently bought a passive 3D smart TV LG 47LW650T which has built in Freeview HD
    I'm using it with a Humax HD freesat box as I don't have an ariel
    at the moment.

    I was hoping to watch the Strictly test tomorrow. I stumbled across the test loop
    which demo'd the side by side this morning. But whatever I did with the 3D settings
    using the remote the best I could do was get the 2D to 3D effect on the two half screen pictures.

    Any idea what I'm doing wrong or do you think the 3D tx will only be available using
    the built in Freeview which as I said I can't yet receive.

  • Comment number 70.

    Hi Andy

    I have just been watching the BBC HD 3D preview and it's extremely good. The dinosaurs were excellent. They had their snouts coming right out into the room. To me that is 3D !!! The clips were very well selected to show a variety of scenes.

    Very well done BBC....keep it up, there are some of us that want more !!!

  • Comment number 71.

    Dear twocaravans - thanks for the post - after you press the 3D button (assuming your remote is the same as the one I have here) and said OK to the message, you should have a menu graphic with 5 icons - the last two may be greyed out. The first is 2D-3D, the second Side by Side and the third is top bottom.

    You should be able to select the Side by Side option and press OK, you can try this on 2D material if the 3D is not going out but it will be unwatchable.

    If this option does not work, it sounds like a problem with the TV!

    If you have connected the TV to the internet, then you could try the iPlayer version - you will need to select the "Top/Bottom" mode for that

    Dear Sam Jacobs - thanks for the post - re the glasses. The cheaper flimsy polarised glasses distort too easily. More rugged frames or better still - rigid plastic lenses give a better experience, less cross talk and flare.


  • Comment number 72.

    Dear kingsmeadow -thanks very for the post and the support. Hope all goes well tomorrow!!!

    At the moment we are making a few contingency plans for "the wind"!!


  • Comment number 73.

    ....I should have added that I tried this BBC HD 3D preview on both the TV which is a Sony 40HX803 and on Freesat using a Foxsat HDR. And both systems worked flawlessly.

  • Comment number 74.

    Hi Andy,

    Did I understand correctly that, some 3D previews have been, or are on BBC I Player ? If so could you point me to something I could try. I have an Nvidia 3D PC system and can play many 3D clips over the net. I would like to try this if it's available. Thanks...

  • Comment number 75.

    Now that Five have decided not to launch their HD channel on Freeview, what's the chances of a dedicated 3D channel for the Olympics?

  • Comment number 76.

    Dear kingsmeadow - nothing on iPlayer until Monday!! I have a small blog ready to go as soon as we get the programme ready

    Dear derek500 - thanks for the post. We don't know what will happen to the fifth slot yet. Have a look at Roger's blogs for 3D Olympics


  • Comment number 77.

    Hi Andy
    I have my tv viewing through Virgin,have they designated a channel specifically for 3D SCD or can I use either of the two channels available to the BBC
    on HD

  • Comment number 78.

    Dear nutz4redz thanks for the post. The live programme will be on the BBC HD Channel of Virgin. The iPlayer will be in different places for V+ and TiVo option though


  • Comment number 79.

    A new day and an effictive reboot and all's working as it should. I'll need to keep an eye on that glitch. Hopefully it's just a software issue. The tennis in 3D is amazing btw. I know BBC spending and cuts will always be an issue for some but excellent content isn't just about production values. It's about technical advances
    too. BBCi player may prove to be THE affordable 3D platform in the near future and Sky won't want to develop that if it's going to challenge it's own satellite services. Basically keep up the good work!

  • Comment number 80.

    Dear two caravans - glad it's working in time.

    The cinema test has just finished and all cinemas received the signal so good news there. Keeping an eye on the wind levels as up-link dishes are vulnerable and the reserve micro-wave link is not as good quality!


  • Comment number 81.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 82.

    BBC whats going on my 3d TV has not recived the signal to convert to 3d was so lookimg forward to this momentous event we are even holding a litte party to celebrate, but no 3d, is the 3d function omly working on sky platform,as its not working through virgin hd or the BBC hd channel

  • Comment number 83.

    Enjoying the broadcast very much, the long shots look fantastic, but my favourite by far is the shot of the judges and Brucie, amazing! Only weak points are tracking shots while dancing, but 90% fantastic!!! Do you have twitter Andy?

  • Comment number 84.

    Dear jadhunt - not sure what you are watching - 3D OK on BBC HD CHannel - Freesat, Freeview and Sky - I don't have Virgin here but it's a direct feed of BBC HD so it can only get side by side


  • Comment number 85.

    Dear thinboifat thanks for the post - many thanks. Point taken re some shots but remember we have to dimensionalise (nice word) a couple of cameras as we can't disrupt the 2D show and we would be inshot

    Twitter seems to be going well - bit the iPhone is a bit of a pain with passive glasses!!!!!!!


  • Comment number 86.

    @Andy Quested Lots of confusion out there!! Why couldn't the continuity announcer mention 3D and where to find it? I don't believe Bruce or Tess did either.

    Lots going to Sky and Virgin's 3d channels!!

  • Comment number 87.

    Dear derek500 - not sure what your talking about, was clear on BBC HD and the Bruce I saw could say enough about it

  • Comment number 88.

    @ Andy Quested. Bruce and Tess mentioned 3d a lot, but didn't say what channel the broadcast was on. At the beginning the BBC One announcer just said on BBC One and BBC One HD and no mention of 3D or it being on BBC HD.

  • Comment number 89.

    Dear all - for those who remember Rowan - he is up in Blackpool at the moment working on the programme.

    He's just told me the 3D steady cam failed 2mins before on air - they will try and get it up again before the results show.

    Apologies to all but that's live TV

  • Comment number 90.

    Dear Derek500 what can I say - sorry for that? As you have posted often and are well "digitised" I cannot believe you were confused or uninformed. You found this post, you watched Wimbledon and it's across all the EPGs

  • Comment number 91.

    We turned on BBC Hd for strictly come dancing but no 3d signal was seen.
    Was there a problem? We have a samsung 3d led TV .

  • Comment number 92.

    Dear all - Steadycam up and running for the end of the main show!! Apologies again

  • Comment number 93.

    For those who can't see 3D on the BBC HD channel via terrestrial TV the problem may be that you are watching channel 50 whereas the 3D transmission is on channel 53.

    I only discovered this half way through; all the promotions just mention BBC HD which to me has always been channel 50. It would help if they made the channel number clear!

    Once you know it is obvious but if you are trying 3D for the first time as we are you think maybe your setup is wrong rather than you are on the wrong channel;ie. Strictly is being shown on 2 HD channels at the same time.

  • Comment number 94.

    Wow, just watched Strictly on my optoma hd600x with the optoma 3d-xl adapter, 120" screen, and the 3d looked awesome. Freesat side by side worked without fault, looking forward to trying out the iplayer later to see what the quality is like. Keep up the good work.
    Manos (freelance editor for the BBC)

  • Comment number 95.

    @Andy Quested I am fully digitised!! I was thinking of the numerous posters on Twitter and other forums (including 93 above) who didn't understand that the 3D broadcast was on a different channel to the 2D broadcast.

    Even Mrs derek500 gets confused and that's ever since BBC One HD launched and BBC HD (in her mind) ceased to exist!!

    Sort of explains why BBC HD only has a 10% weekly reach when it's in over 30% of homes!!

  • Comment number 96.

    Dear derek500 - not to worry BBC HD will go sometime after the Olympics to become BBC Two HD

  • Comment number 97.

    Well this has been a complete success, I want to personally thank every member of the 3d team for providing a great 3d coverage! What are the plans after this trial? I think a BBC 3d channel ala BBC HD with previews should be made for the Olympics and thereafter. Any chance of this? I totally understand the limitations in both technical and shooting terms, but as this has proved, its more than doable!!!

  • Comment number 98.

    @Andy Quested So what channel will SCD 3D be on next year!!?? It's gone down so well tonight, you'll have to do it again. The Sunday Mirror's Kevin O'Sullivan reckons you should do the whole series in 3D.

  • Comment number 99.

    Hi Andy
    Great coverage in 3D. I have Virgin and there are two BBC HD channels.
    One is BBC One HD on channel 108 and the other is BBC HD on channel 187. The channel you required was 187, It shows a split screen,then you have to set your 3D tv to the side by side option. Anything else in the pipelines.I hope this has been useful to any Virgin viewers.

  • Comment number 100.

    Is the BBC 3D transmission compatible with Samsung Smart TV ? I was watching Strictly Come Dancing tonight using my Samsung 3D TV (D6530 Smart LED 3D TV) and it didn't work. I know my glasses & TV work ok as I can watch 3D TV via the Samsung app Explore 3D.


Page 1 of 2

More from this blog...

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.