Strictly Come Dancing Final 3D Trial
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