BBC Taking 'Wait and See' Approach to 3D

Public broadcaster says it will develop full 3D strategy in 2012 if current standards don't fail by then.

The BBC intends to explore opportunities and "remain responsive" to possible changes in the emerging 3D market.

The public service broadcaster anticipates that in a little more than one year, either a full BBC 3D strategy will be developed or the current 3D standards will fail, according to a new BBC report on its technology strategies.

The BBC had previously said that it would not invest in 3D program production though it intends to continue to investigate the format via limited trials and commercially available equipment.

On Monday, it was announced that Sony and the All England Lawn Tennis Club -- with the BBC, Wimbledon's host broadcaster -- would produce the men's Wimbledon semifinals and finals, as well as the women's finals, in 3D. However, the BBC is not expected to fund this broadcast, which would include support from 3D stakeholder Sony.

The BBC report suggested that 3D is "a consumer-display, manufacturer-driven technology," and much of the hype has come from the success of movies and interest in upcoming Blu-Ray releases.

Still, the BBC said it intends to take an active role in standards bodies, as there is now no standardization of the technologies. According to the report: "This approach is likely to suit a smaller but better funded number of players in the movie industry. Within the broader, more diverse and often less well-funded television-making community, a lack of standardization would be a more significant issue; not just for 3D as a format but also in financial terms for the producers and commissioning broadcasters."

Satcaster Sky Broadcasting's Sky3D is now the only 3D channel in the U.K.

As in the U.K., U.S. 3D channels are now offered on cable or satellite services, such as ESPN3D and newly launched 3net.

3D-ready TVs are required to view 3D content in the home.