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Satellite group to launch 3D demo channel

Astra to unveil demo channel at Cologne Cable Show

BERLIN -- In a further sign that 3D could be the next big thing in broadcasting, European satellite group SES Astra said Thursday it plans to launch a 3D demo channel to show off the technology.

Astra will launch the 3D demo channel at the 2010 ANGA Cable in Cologne, Germany May 3.

Earlier this week, News Corp-controlled pay TV group Sky Deutschland aired Germany's first ever live 3D broadcast -- a soccer match from Germany's Bundesliga.

Broadcasters across Europe are hyping 3D as a potential "killer app" that will draw viewers away from the computer screen and back to the tube. But there is no fixed technical standard for 3D yet, something that could hurt the format's rollout.

Astra, which was instrumental in helping fix a TV standard for high-definition broadcasts hopes to do a similar job with 3-D.