Australia viewers first to get rugby in 3D

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Australia’s Nine Network claims it will be the first terrestrial broadcaster in the world to offer 3D programming. Last week the Sydney-based broadcaster announced its plans to film and broadcast the annual National Rugby League State of Origin series to viewers in 3D when the three-match series kicks off on 26 May.

Nine will be ahead of other broadcasters worldwide who are planning to offer matches from the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament in June and July in 3D.

The government is providing digital terrestrial spectrum on a trial basis for the broadcasts.

“It’s early days of course because the technology is still developing, and its availability to consumers right now is limited. But 3D is about to arrive with a bang across the world, and the Nine Network and Harvey Norman want to pioneer the revolution in Australia,’ Nine Network CEO David Gyngell said.

Nine is working with the Australian Communications and Media Authority and transmission service providers to extend the broadcasts beyond Sydney into other Australian cities. Nine also said it is investigating high-quality proprietary encoding formats from companies such as 3-ality, Real D and Sensio to assess the best system for operation in cinema venues and free-to-air terrestrial broadcast.

It is expected that audiences for the initial 3D broadcasts will be largely in cinemas, pubs and clubs.

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