New Year, Next Dimension: China's First 3D Television Channel Rings In 2012

A dozen years into the 21st century and just over 50 years after citizens watched their first nationally broadcast programs, China boasts over 3,000 TV stations. Now Chinese television is about to enter the third dimension with the country's first 3D TV channel set to hit the airwaves on January 1st, 2012.

“We have officially started preparations for the country's first experimental 3D TV channel,” stated Cai Fuchao, head of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, “and have issued two technical guidelines on the production and airing of 3D television programs and 3D television signal transmission.”

As you may have guessed, television content is and always has been closely monitored by China's government and expansion of service continues to be actively directed under a series of centralized plans.

The current strategy is focused on digital television, both on the manufacturing and service sides. Most of China's cities now receive digital cable TV service and by 2015 analog broadcasts will cease. The roll-out of 3D TV in 2012 is certainly no accident – just the opposite in fact. 

Looking past the “hidden hand” of government control, the yet-to-be-named 3D channel is stated to be a cooperative venture involving six of China's bigger TV stations including the oldest and largest: China Central Television or CCTV for short. Following a short shakedown period the channel will launch its regular program schedule to coincide with the Lunar New Year Festival in late January. (via EastDay and Want China Times)