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China launches 3D channel as French 3D channel closes

While China’s state broadcaster has test-launched a 3D TV channel, French broadcaster Canal+ is closing its experimental 3D channel after six months, Televisual reports

According to China’s state media, state-run China Central Television began testing of the new 3D service on Sunday, initially free of charge, with local broadcast partners Beijing TV, Shanghai Media Group, Jiangsu TV, Tianjin TV and Shenzhen TV.

Each partner broadcaster has established specialist 3D production units.

Chinese viewers can watch the China 3D TV trial channel with a 3D TV, special glasses and a set-top box, Xinhua news agency said.

The 3D channel broadcasts four-and-a-half hours of 3D content each day, repeated twice. Content includes performing arts, cartoons, movies and sports. It promises programming from the upcoming London Summer Olympics.

The channel will launch formally later in January and will be aiming to convert a proportion of the 500 million TV viewers in China to 3D.

Countries like Japan, South Korea and India have already launched similar services.

Meanwhile French pay-TV broadcaster Canal+ will end its experimental 3D channel on 24 January, according to Television Broadcast International. The service is reported to have reached only about 12,000 viewers since launching in 2010.

Its 3D content included English Premier League football and US feature films.

René Saal, Canal+ Group’s Deputy Managing Director in charge of programming and operations, said people are just watching a few minutes before opting to watch the same programme in 2D.

He added that Canal+ may consider relaunching the service in the future if there is public demand.