“During the first half of this year we are busy solving the remaining technical issues and we expect to launch a channel dedicated to 3D this Christmas,” deputy chief technology officer Joseph Guégan told the news magazine Écran-Total.
No pricing has been announced, but it seems clear that Canal will be charging an additional monthly fee for the channel. Viewers will also need a 3D compatible receiver and a suitable TV set.
This week, Philips announced it would bring 3D sets to the market including a 3D version of its Cinema 21:9 super-widescreen set. The Dutch consumer electronics manufacturer joins the ranks of others announcing the availability of 3D sets this year.
In 2008 and 2009 Canal’s competitor Orange TV demoed 3D broadcasts during the Roland Garros tennis tournament, but Canal now seems to have taken the lead. So far, Orange has not yet made any firm announcements about a possible regular 3D service.
Canal would be the second pay-TV broadcaster in Europe to launch a 3D channel after BSkyB, which will launch Sky 3D in April this year. With BSkyB already planning to capture many of its Premier League games in the 3D format it may be that the games are also beamed across the channel to Canal+, the rights holder in France.