Finnish cablenet Welho has begun 3DTV test transmissions on its network ahead of a commercial launch in 2010. Trials began to all homes in the Helsinki region in mid-December.
“Our goal is to bring new innovations to our customers for testing as early as possible, so that we can use customer feedback in developing our services,” says Kari Ruopsa, vice president of technology at Welho. He added that international sports events and concerts were the most likely content to be screened. “If 3D content becomes available soon enough, our customers will be among the first to be able to watch these programmes in 3D at home.”
The system chosen by Welho for the test is the Philips WOWvx technology, which is auto-stereoscopic, meaning that no glasses are required. However, WOWvx is no longer under development, and Welho acknowledges that active or passive glasses technology is more likely to be used.
A 3D demonstration can be seen in the Welho Store in Helsinki. It has been built by the Finnish cable hardware company Teleste in partnership with Stereoscope, which edited and partially produced the 3D content.
“Welho’s 3DTV demo has given us an excellent opportunity to test the requirements that 3DTV broadcasts place on cable network technology. We are very excited about developing future 3DTV experience together with Welho. Cooperation with our key customer and a leader in deploying new technology ensures emphasis on customer perspective in our technology development,” said Tommi Ketola, R&D manager, Teleste.
Other 3D tests have been made by the Orange IPTV network in France and the UK’s BSkyB. Virgin Media has also been demoing 3D in its London store, but its recent 3D season using proprietary anaglyph was largely built on Channel 4’s own 3D week.