BBC Thinking of Introducing 3D to Olympics and New Experimental Technology

August 29, 2011

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is contemplating measures which will allow them to broadcast the 100 metres final of the London Olympics 2012 in 3D, as well as trialing out a new technology that delivers picture quality said to be 16 times greater than HDTV.

Roger Mosey, the BBC executive in charge of the corporation’s London 2012 coverage, told reporters on the sidelines of the Edinburgh international television festival that 3D coverage for the 100m and other events was “certainly on the agenda”, as part of a “limited experiment”.

The BBC will also test “super hi-vision”, a new broadcasting technology so advanced it is not expected to be in homes for a decade. Three 15 metre (50ft) high screens will be erected around the country so that the public have a chance of seeing the imagery that Mosey said was so good it would match up with the experience of watching from the stands.

“When you sit and watch it you really get the experience of being in seat D5 in the stadium,” he said. “Super hi-vision might be a better long-term prospect than 3D in some ways as it gives you the feel of being in the stadium. People are knocked out by it.”

The BBC is likely to broadcast the Olympic opening ceremony using the technology, which employs a single camera to capture a wide shot. It has already been tested on sports such as basketball and “big stadium events”.

Mosey added that Electronics giant, Sharp was working on an 215cm (85in) TV set using super hi-vision technology but that it was unlikely to be widely available until 2022.

Mosey did however say that the first 3D Olympics would not amount to a “24/7 service” during the Games, partly because it would mean interrupting its HD programming.

“It is fair to say there is a trade-off between 3D and HD. We don’t want to damage the mass audience that watches HD with [too much] 3D, which is viewed by a minority” he said.

BBC made its first 3D broadcast earlier this year, televising the men’s and women’s Wimbledon tennis finals on BBC HD.