3D TV Coming Soon to Living Rooms?

Three-dimensional (3D) television is expected to be available in some South Korean regions next spring. Whether the technology is ready for prime time is another question altogether, however.

The Korea Communications Commission (KCC), the country's broadcasting and telecommunications regulator, said it is talking with cable television operators over starting trial services in Seoul and the neighboring metropolitan area around next March.

Viewers will likely need special glasses to look at the 3D images at first, but the KCC plans to work with pay-television operators and electronic makers to develop 3D stereoscopic displays and content that don't require the goofy goggles.

Cable television operators have been working with the state-run Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) and other technology institutes to develop 3D television solutions, according to officials from the Korea Cable Television and Communications Association (KCTA).

CJ HelloVision is planning to pick 300 households in Seoul and Busan to start testing its 3D video-on-demand (VOD) this year. CJ plans to expand its 3D coverage to 1,000 households by 2012.

"Nothing is concrete at this point, but we do believe that cable television operators are ideally positioned to deliver 3D television to consumers, considering their interest, the availability of content, and requirements in bandwidth required to push forward the service," said a KCC official.

By Kim Tong-hyung, The Korea Times