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Freeview delights in first 3D broadcast

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Freeview managing director Ilse Howling has said that 3D on digital terrestrial is "no longer a twinkle in the eye of the broadcast industry" after the BBC announced plans to run live 3D coverage of Wimbledon.

The corporation today confirmed that it will use the BBC HD channel to bring live 3D coverage of the women's Wimbledon final on July 2 and the men's final on July 3 direct to homes on Freesat, Freeview, Sky and Virgin Media.

The broadcast marks the first time that live 3D has been available on digital terrestrial television, essentially Freeview, and it will potentially provide a blueprint for how future sporting events could be shown by the BBC in live 3D, such as the London 2012 Olympics.

Celebrating the move, Howling said: "Through exciting technical innovation, 3D on Freeview is no longer a twinkle in the eye of the broadcast industry but is now becoming a reality.

"We're delighted that anyone that has access to a 3D TV set and to Freeview HD can get closer to the action on Centre Court as they experience the men's and ladies' finals of the 2011 Wimbledon Championships in 3D for the first time.

"Since Freeview HD launched, 225,000 (10%) of Freeview HD televisions sold have the capability to display 3D pictures and Freeview HD coverage continues to increase across the UK. We hope this 3DTV editorial experiment by the BBC is a sign of new things to come for Freeview viewers."

However, the announcement has triggered a mixed response on the Digital Spy forums. Forum member Noise747 posted: "That is disgusting, what about people who have not got HD or can't get it? BBC still don't get it, we the public keep the BBC going. Going 3D for the few people who got 3D is stupid (sic)."

But fellow member Ioz wrote: "Good to see the BBC doing this. I would have been disappointed if there had been 3D coverage provided to other broadcasters abroad, but not available to a UK audience. Be interesting to see what they follow this up with."

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