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Full BBC 3DTV Schedule For Olympics

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Kim Shillinglaw Kim Shillinglaw | 17:17 UK time, Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Hi. I'm Kim Shillinglaw and I'm the head of 3D for the BBC.

Summer seems to have finally arrived, and with that continues the BBC's 'Summer of 3D'. We've had Wimbledon - and what a final to have captured in three dimensions - and I'm now looking forward to the rather impressive Planet Dinosaur 3D in August, and the 3D simulcast of the Last Night of the Proms on 8th September.

Before all that though, we will of course be broadcasting Olympic highlights in 3D. For those of you who (like me!) didn't get tickets, you may want to sample some of the BBC's coverage. These free-to-air broadcasts in 3D will be available to anyone who has access to a 3D TV set and to HD Channels, regardless of which digital TV provider they use. For more information of how to access the BBC's 3D content go to www.bbc.co.uk/3d.

As previously announced, the BBC will be broadcasting The Opening Ceremony, Closing Ceremony, Men's 100m final and a highlights package at the end of each day in 3D.

Today I can confirm the full 3D schedule for the Olympics:

27th July 2012      

Olympic Opening Ceremony  

20:50 - 00:00 (approximately)

5th August 2012    

Men's 100 metre final              

20:30 - 22:00

12th August 2012 

Olympic Games review          

20.00 - 21.00

12th August 2012 

Olympic Closing Ceremony    

21:00 - 00:30 (approximately)
(followed by highlights of the day)

Daily Olympic Highlights will be broadcast every day of the Games from 23:00 - 24:00.

And watch out for the completely stunning 60 second films of athletes in action at the start of each evening's coverage. Shot in 3D with the help of a phantom camera, to the sound of Elbow's music, they are really breathtaking.

This 'Summer of 3D' is part of a two year trial we are running - testing production, distribution, partnerships and appetite in different genres of 3D. Our strategy is to co-produce 2D and 3D together, as we did with the Strictly Come Dancing Final last December. This will continue with Planet Dinosaur in August, allowing the two year trial to be run in a very cost effective way, whilst still getting valuable insights into this embryonic area.

Above all, it's a trial - so I'd welcome your comments on any of the summer's 3D output.

Kim Shillinglaw is Commissioning Editor, Science & Natural History & Head of 3D, BBC Vision


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  • Comment number 1.

    Excellent, I can't wait! Credit to the BBC for producing this sort of free-to-air content, always pushing boundaries and experimenting with the latest tech. I'm sure the 3D will be amazing. I really enjoyed the Wimbledon coverage but it could have done with more cameras to produce a better variation of camera angles - I trust there will be far more around the Olympic venues.

    When is the dino doc due to air?

  • Comment number 2.

    Not very good compared with Eurosports 100 hours of LIVE 3D! Considering much more 3D is available to the BBC its a great pitty they can't be bothered to transmit it.

  • Comment number 3.

    Kim said

    This 'Summer of 3D' is part of a two year trial we are running - testing production, distribution, partnerships and appetite in different genres of 3D.

    Sky started 3D transmisions on the 3rd April 2010 to pubs and started the full service on the 1st October.

    So why does it take the BBC 2 years to do what Sky did in 6 months. And why do the BBC call it a trial when full 3D services are already available in many countries. In fact the Americans will see much more of the Olympics in 3D than the BBC is providing to UK viewers.

  • Comment number 4.

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

  • Comment number 5.

    The BBC seems to be trying very hard to continue in the ways of the old, their recent move from Bush House i think may provide them the opportunity to expand further into new services. I sincerely hope this 3D test of theirs succeeds.
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 6.

    Very much looking forward to the last night of the proms in 3d. Glad i found this page.

  • Comment number 7.

    Good news on the Proms. I have watched all the previous 3D outings on Bbc and look forward to many more. As poster above points out, Eurosport are covering stuff each day in 3D which is available to Sky HD viewers at no charge - so no need for the BBC to duplicate. Hats off to the BBC for the 48 HD & SD streams they have made available to Sky and Virgin. can't wait!

  • Comment number 8.

    Trev's right. The BBC has a responsibility to "push boundaries and experiment with the latest tech" but this isn't it. The BBC have lead the way in 'on demand' services with the iPlayer, but they're severely lagging behind other UK broadcasters in HD and 3D broadcasting.

  • Comment number 9.

    With 24 YES 24 dedicated HD BBC channels, it is unbelievable that not even 1 is a 3D channel:-( If you wanted to 'test' 3D, the Olympics with its massive 3D output would have been the ideal testbed and by only showing lip service, the BBC has really lost out
    For an opportunity.

    Kim, it's great the BBC is showing some 3D but it's really quite pitiful too. 3D hasn't taken off because if lack of programming. I have a 3D tv but am starting to get 'jaded' with the 3D because there are no programs.

    Please try harder!

  • Comment number 10.

    Why don't you make more 3D available through the i-player ?
    (assuming you won't do it on the live broadcast channels)

  • Comment number 11.

    What channel will the 3d be on? Or will it be red button only? This will stop people recording the tiny amount of 3d content to watch when they get home!

  • Comment number 12.

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

  • Comment number 13.

    BBC 3D - Given the growth in 3DTV's, why cannot the BBC allocate a dedicated channel on Freeview & Sky to provide a significanlty larger selection of 3D programs. I'm sure that this would attract a large audience for the BBC, so can someone explain why this is not already being announced. Its not as if the BBC will have to pay extra for programming rights they already own, just the access and EPG. Is there anyone from the BBC who can offer an explantion?.

  • Comment number 14.

    On the 8th March 2008 the BBC, with various industry partners, for the first time demonstrated live 3D coverage to an invited audience at the Riverside Studios in London. The demo was to show that the delivery chain would work, and as one of the audience I can tell you it did. The down the line event was the Calcutta Cup from Murrayfield.

    So here we are more than four years later and the BBC still appears to be in the experimental and evaluation phase.

  • Comment number 15.

    Good to get your comments. Some of them seem to revolve around why aren’t we doing more, or moving faster. Interesting to see, and perhaps a reflection of the fact that anyone reading my blog (and thanks for giving it your time) might be more likely to have a pre-existing interest in 3D. The inevitable answer at the moment is that the BBC has to juggle a heap of priorities and claims on its funding at any one time. Yes 3D production costs are coming down across the board – but its still expensive compared to 2D. Yes take-up of 3D is growing steadily – but its still very small. Yes 3D can be creatively very exciting in different ways in different genres – but still no-one really knows where audience appetite is headed right now. Taking those kind of things into consideration, as a Licence Fee funded organisation, I think our current approach is right. Obviously commercial broadcasters and producers, serving much smaller audiences who pay for consumption, are in a different space. And while I’m online, two other updates: Dino Planet 3D will air on the HD channel weekend of 18/19th August (times tbc) and we’ll be repeating the Olympic Highlights 3D packages 7am – 9am on the HD Channel too, to give those of us who are early birds rather than night owls a chance to sample. Best for now, Kim

  • Comment number 16.

    Isn't it a case of 'chicken and egg', and that people might expect the BBC to leading the way?

    If you had waited until everyone had TV sets first, you would have started broadcasting in the first place...

    Thank god other broadcasters don't have the same attitude. The batton of technology leadership seems to be have been passed from the BBC to the next runner...

  • Comment number 17.

    Another thought... but given this is (possibly) the world's biggest SPORTING event, then why is the 3D coverage only of the ceremonies, and not the sport itself? Bizzare really. 24 channels and you can't find room for some live 3D?

  • Comment number 18.

    Don't forget Sky has given these channels to BBC for free. Any BBC 3D would compete with Skys 3D channel which is transmitting over 12 hours per day live 3D Olympics from Eurosport. The BBC is dragging its feet with 3D just like it is doing with HD and Surround Sound. They like to play with new tech like Super HD but are very reluctant to actualy supply a service.

  • Comment number 19.

    In March of this year I bought a 27" 3D TV which can turn 2D into 3D. All Freeview channels, DVDs and home movies, and photographs (via a USB) can be seen in 3D ~ even black and white versions. Although the 3D effect isn't as good as BluRay, it is, nevertheless, amazing to watch. I haven't watched 2D TV since I bought the set.

  • Comment number 20.

    Actually, speaking of the iPlayer - any word on whether the 3D coverage will be iPlayer-able?

  • Comment number 21.

    Kim, is there any chance of getting access to these 3D Olympic broadcasts abroad? Will be traveling to South Africa and it would be a shame to miss out on these!


  • Comment number 22.

    3D coverage of the Olympic Opening Ceremony was fantastic. It was, however, spoiled by the inane witterings of the "commentators" who talked over what was going on in the ceremony..... Can we have the option of no commentary please?

  • Comment number 23.

    I understand Neil it was on the red button

  • Comment number 24.

    i missed the start of the opening ceremony, so didn't know it was in 3D on BBCHD until the teams were coming in....really really disappointed that having filmed the ceremony in 3D, it isn't available on iplayer!!!
    please see if you can have a SBS version made available, or how about repeating the 3D broadcast during the night?

  • Comment number 25.

    The BBC 3D opening ceremony was absolutely fantastic. I know that 3D TV's are still not high in numbers in the UK but if we could somehow get people to see and know the quality of the BBS transmission sales would grow very quickly. Many thanks BBC.

  • Comment number 26.

    The opening ceremony in 3d was incredible. But why is it not on iplayer? Most 3D tv sets are owned by families for the family 3d movie market. Why put on the highlights at 11 pm when children are in bed? Can we have 3d olympic coverage on iplayer or a reasonable hour please so our children can watch?

  • Comment number 27.

    The BBC don't have anywhere near as much money to throw around as SKY, so before they invest heavily in hundreds of expensive cameras, larger bandwidth networks, and broadcasting real estate, they need to make very sure they are doing the right thing. -Especially when the vast majority of their viewers don't have 3D TVs.

  • Comment number 28.

    Cping500 - thanks... The no commentary option was available for the HD feed, but not the 3D feed....

  • Comment number 29.

    Kim its awesome I love it and justifies my decision to buy a decent Plasma 3D TV.

    Colin Jackson was rubbish as a commentator, definitely the B Team on the 3D presentation of the Olympic opening. Recording the highlights and trying to catch the 60 second thumbnails as the Gymnast one at the end of the Opening was incredible.

    Keep it going, I would have thought Theatre productions, Ballet etc would be a good subject for 3D. Les Mis in 3D mmm.


  • Comment number 30.

    I watched the Olympics highlights in 3D tonight and here's my reaction to the actual 3D...

    The Titles were professionally done and looked great in 3D. There were also a couple of vignettes at the end with a long jumper and hammer thrower in slow motion....they looked as stunning as the athletics part of the LG 3D demo (with the long jumper and sand coming out into the camera etc).

    The actual athletics was a mixed bag though. There was some decent 3D depth at times but it was inconsistent and lots of shots were in 2D. Ironically, the 3D shots of the spectators and scenes outside the stadiums etc had excellent quality 3D and looked better than most of the actual events themselves. The best was the judo highlights as the camera was at floor level and the audience looked really nicely set back in the distance with a good separation.

    Overall it was a mixed bag....some excellent 3D, some just OK 3D with the occasional 2D shots interspersed. Overall 3.5/5

  • Comment number 31.

    I applaud the BBC for trialing 3D but can you be more pro-active with advertising? I watch BBC1 every day and whilst there was plenty of ads for the olympics itself, I cannot recall seeing any mention of 3D. Advertise the 3D for events like Wimbledon and the Olympics on BBC1, that way you will attract more viewers.

  • Comment number 32.

    Hi Congratulations BBC - The Olympics Opening cermony was particularly effective in 3D, with objects close to the camera appearing to extend into the room out of the TV screen -Amazing!! I hope after the trial you continue on with regular 3D broadcasts free to the public (funded from their Licence Fee), unlike Satelite Broadcasters who will probably charge for 3D content.

    Looking forward to watching further 3D content.

  • Comment number 33.

    What Appalling commentary on the both the men's and women's cycling. Not a clue. I could have done better with the help of a guide dog for the blind! Ruined what should have been riveting events....

  • Comment number 34.

    I've just joined the 3D viewing public and am already disappointed with the BBC on the distinct lack of 3D programmes. Sky have made 3D broadcasting of the Olympics available free to all their customers with their HD package until the end of the games - the BBC have only the ceremonies and a few events covered.
    As for advertising even these few events - I couldn't even find the details by using the search facility on the bbc.co.uk web site.

    As usual, the BBC comment is that it is due to funding restrictions. Not good enough.

  • Comment number 35.

    Forgetting about the truly appalling commentary, I thought that the BBC HD 3D Opening Ceremony 3D broadcast was stunning

    Imho this was the pinnacle of BBC HD 3D transmissions (live or pre-recorded), especially with the current technology/budget restraints and camera restrictions

    If you don't agree then 3D tv it will never get any better for you in the current available formats!

    Well done on the Opening Ceremony - I watched for the whole 3.5 hours and didn't feel nauseous at all, even when viewing through my prescription spectacles

    I also agree with you Kim that the "completely stunning 60 second films of athletes in action at the start of each evening's coverage. Shot in 3D with the help of a phantom camera, to the sound of Elbow's music" really are breathtaking.

    I've now managed to capture eight of them.

    Would it be possible to give us a BBC HD 3D blast of the complete set (that's if there are any more) so that I can silence all of my family/friends 3D sceptics for the next few years?

    With a "Heads Up" from you, of course

    Atm they seem to be random before/after the BBC HD 3D Olympics Highlights broadcast at 11pm, 7am and 8am

    Please keep up the excellent 3D work

  • Comment number 36.

    One word...FAB...! Keep up the good work :) Melissa

  • Comment number 37.

    One word " FAB" Keep up the good work :)

  • Comment number 38.

    I apologise if I’m repeating some of the previous comments ... but ...

    Visually the Olympic opening ceremony was stunning, the best 3D broadcast I’ve seen so far. However ... the commentary was awful and not worthy of the event

    Colin Jackson felt the need to talk over almost everything we were seeing clearly in 3D. At one point he was talking over a band (The Arctic Monkeys?) ... so that you couldn’t hear his comments or the music being played.

    My wife and I spent much of the 3+ hours shouting ‘PLEASE SHUT UP!!’ at the TV!

    I’m sure the audience in the arena coped without having someone explain everything we were seeing.

    There really ought to have been an option to watch the event without commentary – possibly with a brief note at the bottom of the screen, e.g. explaining that the dance was dedicated to the victims of 7/7 - rather than the intrusive commentary.

  • Comment number 39.

    1. Not enough publicity about timing of 3D highlights programme. Why do we always have to stay up so late to get the benefit? 11pm til Midnight is way too late for many families. 2. Opening Ceremony in 3D - excellent visuals, but appalling commentary. There is no use getting 1st rate visuals if the experience is destroyed by bottom of the barrel commentators, who talked too much and all over the start of Sir Kenneth Brannagh - and their remarks during the parade of nations showed that they had done no homework on the teams at all. 3. Some sports such as the diving and gymnastics with all the twists and turns of the body are just crying out for 3D coverage. Why could BBC not get their act together to offer a few limited sports in Live 3D coverage during the Olympics? Overall - very disappointing.

  • Comment number 40.

    Thanks for the comments. Just to let you know, you can read more about the 24 channels on Roger Mosey's blog.

  • Comment number 41.

    The 11pm - midnight BBC HD 3D highlights programme is repeated the following morning on BBC HD at 7am - 8am and again at 8am - 9am

    If you can record the HD 3D broadcast, it's worth direct recording from about 7.52am 'till 8am each morning. You can then eventually capture and archive all of the "60 sec videos shot in 3D with the help of a phantom camera, to the sound of Elbow's music"

    They really are breathtaking and well worth archiving for future 3D demos on your 3D tv

  • Comment number 42.

    Dear D Clayden. Thanks for the post The highlights programme is not ready much before 23:00 and goes out as soon as we can. There will be an evening of live 3D for the Men's 100m final but the highlights programme provided by OBS gives a good round up of the day's 3D events.

  • Comment number 43.

    Hi I read with interest the comments regarding recording the 3D, I have tired using my Panasonic DVD / Hardrive Recorder and all I get is two images split to each half of the screen and my Panasonic 3D TV (Latest/ current model) will not detect the 3D signal and therefore all I can do is select 2D to 3D simulation which is not as good as the BBC's off air transmissions which it detects fine. Does anyone know how to record in 3D?

  • Comment number 44.

    Dear VieraDave. I assume your recorder is connected via HDMI - you need to manually set the tv to SbyS mode in either the quick menu or the setup menu

  • Comment number 45.

    Please please please can you repeat the Opeming Ceremony in 3D with the commentary?

    The commentary ruined it and wasn't need and I also missed the end as it over-ran!

    Everywhere I read about the Olympics Opening Ceremony the one thing that sticks out is the complaint about talking all over it and telling us things that we could see with out own eyes. Why do the BBC keep insisting that we have to have this or even need it? You wouldn't show a live transmission from a London theatre and have someone talk all over it would you? We want to watch the show and hear it! Why does that seem such a ridiculous concept to the BBC?

    I can't believe that there was only a one-off opportunity to see this and had to have commentary and no chance to see the end, if as happened, my recorder stopped recording at the published time.

    So please let's have a full repeat: Any time of day or night will do and don't forget to actually advertise it.

  • Comment number 46.

    The 3D broadcast of the opening ceremony was fantastic but I agree, the commmentary was often talking about items we could not see and often missed what we could see. My 3D TV here in France worked faultlessly and it was truly fantastic. When the paper pices were floating about it really felt as though some were coming from behind me. Can we have more broadcasts in 3D please as now the TV's are very popular. When I tuned in it came as the side by side pictures but very quickly changed to the "fuzzy" picture for my system.
    Well done BBC

  • Comment number 47.

    The PQ on the 3D Highlights programme each night is a bit disappointing. A bit soft at times. I know 3D broadcast like this isn't full HD, but at times this looks distinctly SD in quality.
    But I know it isn't the BBC's fault as the Sky/Eurosport 3D highlights programme transmission has exactly the same issue. And they are in fact of course exactly the same programme provided by OBS to both BBC and Eurosport. So the fault seems to be at source. Please tell OBS to buck up their ideas!

  • Comment number 48.

    Dear citizenloz. Thanks for the post. We are speaking to OBS about the coverage. As a point of interest, the slo-mo stings and the piece to camera at the top of the highlights show are made by us. Do you have any thoughts on these?


  • Comment number 49.

    Hi Andy. The BBC parts are excellent. Well made and good PQ, which just highlights the poor quality of the OBS source material. I can't say it is always so, but generally the indoor material seems poorer quality than the outdoor stuff. The swimming and gymnastics for example look soft compared to say the canoe slathom which had looked great in 3D. Perhaps they struggle more with the light levels

  • Comment number 50.

    Hi Andy
    The slo-mo stings are so good that I've managed to capture all eight of them.

    They tend to appear at the end of the BBC HD 3D highlights transmissions though - 11.54pm - 7.52am and 8.52am?

    Also, the "piece to camera shots" PQ is far superior to the following OBS material!

    Why didn't the BBC put in a bid to do the whole "3D thing" and sell it to the rest of the world?
    Judging from the Olympics 2012 3D broadcasts so far, they could obviously do it so much better, and all of us tv license payers could have enjoyed a much more fulfillng 3D Olympic Games experience to accompany the brilliant BBC HD 3D Opening Ceremony.

    I assume that the BBC will be in total control of the 3D Closing Ceremony, but who will be producing/presenting the live? 3D Men's 100m Final?

    And will OBS be involved in the Last Night of the Proms live 3D broadcast?

  • Comment number 51.

    Thanks Andy Quested, for the hint regarding playing back recorded 3D. Now that I have set the 3D mode to "SBS to 3D" I can view 3D recorded images via HDMI. However, the results are a bit disappointing as the definition is no where near as good as the off-air images, or the 2D standard images recorded on my Panasonic DVD/ Hard disk recorder. I can only assume the 3D requires a higher bandwidth and the non-HD recorder can not cope with the level of information being handled - perhaps I need to save up for an HD DVD/ Hard disk Recorder!

    With regard to the comments from citzenloz, I too have noticed some of the images are a bit low definition in places. This seems to be in the main on the top right side of the screen and was especially noticable on some of the swimming images. Looking at the images more closely, I don't know how the 3D camers work, but assuming they have two lenses/ imaging chips, it looks as though the low definition might be due to convergence problems between the two images, rather than softness of image.

    However, given the purpose of the 3D trial is to identify such anomalies I am sure these will be ironed out in due course and in general to me the 3D images and indeed the HD 2D look amazing - keep up the good work BBC!

  • Comment number 52.

    Many thanks for the comments - OBS are producing all of the material 2D and 3D. We have added a little of our own to give the 3D packages a UK/BBC feel. The 100m and closing will be live as was the opening.

    Dinosaurs and The Last Night of the Proms are BBC produced. BTW Dinosaurs will be on iPlayer in 3D.

    VieraDave - if your recorder re-compresses the 3D it will look much worse. The 3D will vanish first and as it was SbyS the resolution is already lower than 2D HD


  • Comment number 53.

    @VieraDave what recorder have you got? I'm slightly surprised that it's even possible to have received the 3D (broadcast on an HD channel) on a device that can't record HD.

  • Comment number 54.

    Dear VieraDave. I have a sky pvr so it records the transport stream not the video. Can you let me have the model number of the recorder?


  • Comment number 55.

    Last nights highlights blew my theory @49 of indoor vs outdoor out of the window. The indoor shots seemed a little sharper last night whilst the equestrian footage was poor. The opening shots of the show jumping arena was worse than SD.
    The fencing was very poor 3D wise. It was hard to see any 3D depth at all. Perhaps the almost black and white contrast between the fencers and the background accounted for this. It was only when an official walked past you got any indication that segment was in 3D at all.

  • Comment number 56.

    Dear citizenloz - nothing confirmed but there were some problems with yesterday's 3D feed. Fingers crossed for tonight. Andy

  • Comment number 57.

    Been watching the 11pm 1hour 3d slot,and i must say it's the worst 3d picture quality i,ve ever seen.The 3d intro looks great but as soon as it goes into the obs it looks dreadfull.
    All the colours are washed out and minimal 3d effect and no amount of tweaking the settings makes it look any better.

  • Comment number 58.

    Dear Andy Quested, The model No. of my Panasonic DVD/ HD Recorder is DMR-EX85EB. However, please note it is a few years old now and I would expect the latest Panasonic machines would do a better job of recording.

    My machine does not have a tuner which receives HD and therefore I have to record from the TV tuner, via Q-Link/ Viera Link/ HDAVI and as the recorder can not record via HDMI it uses Scart/ (Composite Video) - Hence my low resolution recordings! and I use the HDMI to view recordings. However, the TV User Manual, seems to indicate it's HD tuner can be recorded via HDAVI Control 5, over HDMI, so I suspect current Panasonic DVD/ HD recordes can do this. Unfortunately, one Panasonic dealer I have asked, does not seem to know, so I guess I shall have to do the research before buying another machine - unless any one on this forum happens to know!

    Please note the softness in the picture I mentioned above, is evident off-air, I am not judging picture quality on my low res recordings. I have noticed today the softness is on the distant pictures on the middle to upper left and closed up shots look fine. Whether this is TV specific, or in the transmission I am not sure.

    Kind regards


  • Comment number 59.

    No improvement last night PQ wise I am afraid, as tommytinkroom @57 also notes.

    The previous nights problem they may have been referring to could have been the "Break in Transmission" that occured during the 3D broadcast that was included in the Eurosport broadcast, though I think was edited out of the later BBC broadcast.

  • Comment number 60.

    Dear VieraDave - thanks. dropping the resolution that far will destroy most is not all the 3D I'm afraid!

    Dear tommytinkroom, citizenloz and VieraDave. Last night's highlights did seem to have a lot of single camera locations (not multi camera OB trucks) - the images were a bit noisy and lacked depth. citizenloz - Not sure about the break on EuroSport do you remember when it was? I will ask if we did edit any breaks out.


  • Comment number 61.

    About 34 mins into the programme on Eurosport when it switched to the Gymnastics highlights it was showing the Gymnastics on the Left, and the OBS intro on the Right which obviously didn't work in 3D :-). It then went to "Transmission Delayed" for a few minutes and just showed the overhead of london at night before resuming.

  • Comment number 62.

    @Andy Quested,
    I was'nt just talking about last nights transmission,pq and 3d depth has been terrible
    since the 11pm 3d slot started.Pretty much the same quality as the Wimbledon 3d broadcast.
    Maybe 3d ob is still in it's infancy and needs a lot more work on it's technology.

  • Comment number 63.

    I've got to say I have been watching the highlights programme every night on freeview HD and I'm pretty dissapointed with the side-by-side 3D quality...

    There is a noticeable drop in resolution compared to other SBS pictures I've seen from the BBC .

    Can you explain the quality difference between the intro (and ending) sequences which are far superior, to the main bulk of the programme? I'm guessing it's a source limitation rather than broadcast?

    It's such a shame, I've been looking forward to seeing the BBC's first proper forray into 3D broadcasting for a long time, yet I'm finding myself it switching 3D off and reverting to the superior 2D picture. Will this improve in the future?

  • Comment number 64.

    My thoughts exactly!

  • Comment number 65.


    It might be a mute point considering the various comments concerning OBS image quality, which I also believe is below what Half-SBS can achieve, but I'm rather surprised you don't broadcast in a more efficient format.

    Full OU (Over & Under) format can be broadcast within the confines of HD bandwidth and yet delivers the highest possible resolution when viewed with the appropriate 3D technology. It's a seamless format that will degrade to Half OU on TV systems that are unable to extract all 1080 lines of encoded vertical information

    Presently, almost all systems that use a passive polariser can support F-OU.

  • Comment number 66.

    Agree about OBS 3D quality so far. But today watching the canoe slalom (on Sky 3D) there's been a great improvement. I would say it's because it's outside on a bright day, but some of the best 3D has been the darts, which is indoors.

  • Comment number 67.

    Dear Welsh78 thanks for the comment and the praise! The opening intro and closing are BBC - the highlights are supplied as is by OBS

    Dear Argo - thanks for the post. The SbyS system gives us the best images based on the standard used to acquire the two original images. When we put Strictly Come Dancing on iPlayer, it was converted to 720p/50 and we used top/bottom for that


  • Comment number 68.

    So Andy, just what is the problem? Why is the OBS source so poor? Most commenters here are aware just how much better broadcast 3D can be based on prior 3D broadcasts by BBC and others.

    Why in this most prestigious of events are OBS failing to live up to the mark?

  • Comment number 69.

    Yes Andy pray tell us!

  • Comment number 70.

    "Andy did you hear about this one"

  • Comment number 71.

    Dear all - we do feed back information all the time. Some of the venues are not ideal for 3D and there are not enough 3D OB units to cover every location. One of the trucks moves back to the main stadium very soon to cover the athletics events (then onto the closing). Remember 3D needs camera positions that may conflict with the 2D coverage (i.e. get in the way!), usually needs more light (i.e. is not as good when conditions are not ideal) and the Olympics is the first event where so much 3D has been covered in one location simultaneously.


  • Comment number 72.

    @Andy Quested
    Why not invest in another 3D OB unit truck, especially as Team GB now appears to be in the ascendancy?

    The OBS 3D highlights feeds of today's GB medals achievements will be very interesting tonight - more for the content than PQ

  • Comment number 73.

    I'd rather watch it in common or garden HD, than alledged 3d that looks worse than standard definition.

  • Comment number 74.

    Although I have noticed 3D images being soft in places on certain transmissions, I have to say that overall, I am very impressed by the BBCs quality of 2d and 3D coverage of the Olympics. Although the 3D definition has not always been as good as 2D HD, the impact of 3D, particularly during the opening cermony and some of the outside broadcasts has in my opinion been stunning, with items close to the camera appearing to extend out of the screen into the room! I am looking forward to the various 3D transmissions the BBC have planned in the future.

    It's probably worth mentioning the audio quality has also been excellent, particularly during the opening ceremony.

  • Comment number 75.

    Dear tommytinkroom - the 3D coverage could be better better but it is not bad.

    Dear blackcat100 - OBS are THE broadcast provider additional coverage is not an option I'm afraid.

    Dear VieraDave - many thanks and I agree - we can all criticise but overall and given the scale of the event it has been good.


  • Comment number 76.

    There seemed to be an improvement in the PQ in last nights coverage. In contrast to the Show Jumping, the Hockey was far far better. But even the events that have been covered every night such as gymnastics and swimming seemed to be better. And finally there was some visible 3D depth to the fencing.

  • Comment number 77.

    Looking forward to the athletics in 3D now


  • Comment number 78.

    I look forward to ALL 3D broadcasts by the BBC (no way would I prefer watching 2D) but I do believe striving for the highest quality possible is very important.

    With the beeb a world class leader in HD broadcasts/productions then I'd expect the same for 3D productions.

    It will be an uphill struggle considering bandwidth is the same as HD but with good camera sources combined with efficient encoding using the best possible 3D format (which as mentioned previously I'm quite sure SBS isn't) then I'm sure superb results are possible.

    Hopefully with the BBC taking over the camera work then we can look forward to a bright future!

  • Comment number 79.

    Many thanks Argo the real killers for good 3D is the camera position relative to the action, the arena or area you expect and need to see and the camera(s) alignment - get those wrong and even raw 1.5Gbs (x2) 3D is awful - I know, i've seen it!


  • Comment number 80.

    I've finally had a chance to watch some of the 3D coverage of the 2012 Olympics. One good thing about the day delay in coverage is that I get to compare the coverage of NBC's 2D to the 3D from Sky. On the events I watched, Gymnastics Beam and swimming, there were only 2 or 3 rigs that were doing decent 3D. All of the rest, set the industry back with the poor quality / stereo. But worse than sub-par stereo / video capture / transmission quality is the story telling that NBC is able to achieve with superior camera positions, its absent in the 3D coverage. So even if the stereo were to the standard that I am used to, I would prefer the better coverage that the network is getting.

    It's too bad, my job depends on the adoption of 3D and the Olympics should be the perfect platform to make someone who invested in the TV and the subscription, really satisfied with their purchase and perhaps tell their friends. If I were paying for it, I'd be about 20% satisfied and perhaps less if I'm switching over to the NBC coverage and getting some perspective on how good the coverage should be. With any luck, other viewers are not as picky as I am, but I doubt it. Bad for me... and for you.

    3D needs to have the same coverage, same quality, same A-list director calling the shots and not a compromised - not quite in the right place - camera, prosumer quality video, and B-list 3D "professional" director. The formeris what we should present to the public, and let that be the basis that they decide if they like 3D television.

  • Comment number 81.

    Whilst I accept that camera positioning is important for 3D, I can't accept that it has much to do with the poor PQ that we have seen so far. Poor camera angles don't equal soft images.
    What exactly is accounting for the poor PQ?
    Admittedly the live athletics hasn't been too bad, but still not on a par with the best live 3D sports events I have seen PQ wise.

  • Comment number 82.

    There is a difference between the OB multi-camera and the single camera venues. Camera positions, relative size of the area of coverage and camera line-up affect the 3D quality.

  • Comment number 83.

    First of all, THANK YOU BBC for bringing us the Olympics in 3d. However I honestly think you are shooting yourselves in the foot with the one hour programs that you're broadcasting. First off, by having chosen the cheaper option of not utilising 5D cameras (ones that shoots simultaneously in 2D and 3D) we the viewers end up with a much less than perfect viewing point which totally diminishes the dynamics of the images. Obviously if asked most people would prefer a perfectly centered HD shot of the finishing line to an off-centered 3D shot.

    I'm a huge fan of 3DTV but the content has to be brilliantly shot from the optimum viewpoints and beautifully edited.

    The programs you're putting out at the moment could not be further from that ideal, for example, yesterday was probably the most dramatic day ever in history in terms of GB Olympics; six gold medals, the most emotional silver in the rowing and you presented a program without any emotion or story telling, nothing that actually makes the program watchable. Compare it to the way Olympic Breakfast is edited. Where are the slow motion shots? Maybe give a view of the elation on the podiums and the crowds in the stands. The 2D coverage is sensational but your 3D show is just a turgid, factual, off-centered snapshot of each event all presented without emotion or any attempt at storytelling.

    If this is your attempt to trial 3DTV in the UK, of course it's not going to get a positive response if you're just putting out half-assed content.

    On the flip side... I watched the opening ceremony in 2D and then again later in 3D and the 3D absolutely blew me away! Having the depth truly gave much more sense to the images. It made the story that Danny Boyle created totally come to life, but the BBC manged to muck this up completely by having constant inane commentaries blasting out a a high volume whilst lowering the volume of the show! It was a SHOW! The music and staging told the story. It was akin to going to see 'The Phantom Of The Opera' and having two blokes behind you shouting in your ears "this is the bit when the Phantom comes in", "this is the bit with the chandelier", "oh I think this bit's going to be good because he threatens to kill everybody!".

    The British public are actually intelligent enough to understand what's being seen without somebody describing it to them, for that you already have the facility with the Audio Descriptive sound channel. Leave your commentators there please.

    I was at least able to see the show as it was designed in 3D and synching the soundtrack from the Iplayer without the commentary. Hardly ideal and that option will disappear within a month. Please release a 3D Blu-Ray without commentary.

    I very much would like to hear your views to my comments. Thank you.

  • Comment number 84.

    Dear crashcris - thanks very much for the comments including your interesting language. I will not discuss 5D as it's a process specific a company.

    If you have a quick look through the posts and at the beginning and end of each highlights programme, you will see we are using the OBS feed. They decide which venues and which athletes are in the show, we add a BBC introduction and the slo-mo stings in and out of the programmes. We do feed back information about the coverage (both 2D and 3D) though.

    We also had a no-commentary option as well as an AD version of the opening ceremony available.

    I am sure we will discuss the coverage over the coming weeks to see how we can apply some of the comments and suggestions to improve 3D coverage of large events - Last Night of the Proms is the next live 3D programme.

    I feel our feet are well positioned and suitable protected against injury!


  • Comment number 85.

    I saw a very large 3D screen in the BBC foyer the other day while waiting for a tour and I didn't even need glasses to view it! Some sort of prototype. Looked great!

    Didn't get enough time to take it all in but don't think it was live broadcast. Still superb though and good to see the BBC showing off a no-glasses system that surely has to be the future for mass 3D take-up. Are you able to tell me anything more about this?

  • Comment number 86.

    I'm looking forward to the Last Night Of The Proms immensely, I just hope that you don't have Colin Jackson telling us that the woodwind section is just about to play a few notes and perhaps someone will be beating the drums in a minute or two, half way through.

  • Comment number 87.

    Dear chrissieh - it is interesting and yes a prototype. No live material just the slo-mo stings looped.

    There is still a way to go with glasses free 3D but it is progressing and each time I see it, it gets better. Hope you enjoyed to tour too!


  • Comment number 88.

    Dear crashcris :)


  • Comment number 89.

    Dear Andy, thank you very much for replying.

    If the programs we're watching are being dictated by the OBS, then I suggest that the BBC put a disclaimer out saying that it's not your fault that it's not a very interesting program, because clearly the 2D coverage is leaps and bounds better.

    Please could you tell me on which channel and how I can access the 3D with 'no commentary' option for the closing ceremony.

    On my TV, a panasonic, viewed through an Icecrypt HD PVR , when I press the language button I only get the option of 'English'(that would be with the Colin Jackson commentary) or 'AD'(which I assume would be with Colin Jackson with even more description on top).

    I can't see any option for 'no commentary'

    Honestly, how do I get to see this Multi-Multi-Million pound show exactly as it was intended to be seen?

    And will there be a 3D Blu-Ray release?

    Many thanks , Cris.

  • Comment number 90.

    Dear crashcris - we will not have a commentary free closing, it is a very different event to the opening! Sorry should have been clearer, only 2D for clean audio for the opening.

    As for BluRay - again OBS own the rights to all the content

  • Comment number 91.

    Dear Andy.

    Many thanks for replying.

    That's a real shame and a missed opportunity, how about re-televising it in its entirety at a later date in 3D without the commentary, It did cost £27,000,000.00 after all.

    It was one-off brilliant show, expertly filmed with a driving soundtrack which told an emotional story of our country. It's never going to be performed anywhere ever again, so at least give us the chance to enjoy it properly more than just the once.

    All the best. Cris.

  • Comment number 92.

    Looking forward to tonight. Hope you get the ambient sound better than Eurosport 3D. You can hardly hear anything apart from the commentators.

  • Comment number 93.

    I might be being thick here but when your guys tell us that 3d coverage is on the HD channel I go there on virgin and its only 2d which channel number do i need as its not very well explained..

  • Comment number 94.

    Dear AndyOpy. Try ch 187

  • Comment number 95.

    Dear AndyOpy, I would agreed with you that information, on which HD channel(s) would be broadcasting in 3D, was not made easily accessible. I had to google the subject to find that for 'freesat' the channel was 109. Having learned that tonight, I very much enjoyed the Olympics Highlights 23:00 to midnight. Well done the BBC!

  • Comment number 96.

    Amazing that nearly two years since BBC One HD launched as a separate channel, that people still think it's the BBC HD channel. Too late now, but when BBC One HD launched and took BBC HD's slot on the EPG, they should have renamed BBC HD as BBC HD Extra. Quoting 'The BBC HD channel' sounds like there's still only one channel.

  • Comment number 97.

    There was a vast improvement on the 3D transmission last night.

  • Comment number 98.

    Really enjoyed some of the Olympic highlight programmes in 3D but was really disappointed with the men's 100m final. I had no idea the camera angle would be different to normal and it completely ruined it for me - I felt robbed of such an iconic moment. The side on camera angle was terrible. Why was the commentary different too?
    3D is a great novelty for 5 mins until your eyes feel like they're going to burst and a headache comes on - I'm sure it's not good for the eyes.

  • Comment number 99.

    @flash The B team commentary is one of the downsides of 3D, I understand broadcasters are working towards integrated a 2D/3D single solution.

    It's a shame that the ultimate in viewing is compromised by a lower quality commentary.

    I assume you have an active shutter 3D TV, if you're having eye problems after such a short time. With passive you can watch for hours without side effects.

    As for the coverage, I understand the resolution is reduced, but can someone explain why the segments of the 3D coverage which is using the 2D cameras (the athlete close ups before the start of the races and during the medal presentations) are 'almost' HD and so much clearer than when the 3D cameras are used.

    Didn't like the triple jump camera angle, where it was impossible to see how far they'd jumped and didn't have the overlaid distance graphics.

  • Comment number 100.

    Last night's 100m final 3D program worked brilliantly. Well done.


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