CBC Television made broadcasting history today with the first-ever Canadian 3D images on a national television network. The historic images were the first public test of CBC's 3D
technology, in preparation for the full airing of the documentary special Queen Elizabeth in 3D on Monday, Sept. 20.
This morning's test showed Her Majesty reviewing the Canadian naval fleet in Halifax, as well as attending Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa and the Queen's Plate in Toronto-all in 3D.
"It's exciting to be part of Canadian television history," said Kirstine Stewart, interim executive vice-president, CBC English Services, who followed the experimental shoots closely and attended the Queen's Plate filming. "Once again, the CBC is at the forefront of bringing the best in television programming to as many Canadians as possible."
The brief 3D test was unannounced, and broadcast at 12 a.m. today across the entire CBC
system, including satellite, cable, Internet and over-the-air. Some 50 Canadians from
Newfoundland to B.C. to the Arctic were given inexpensive 3D glasses and took part in the test group (without the glasses, 3D images appear slightly blurred to viewers). However, night owls will have a chance to catch the images again: the test will be repeated several times in the next few weeks as CBC calibrates its transmitters to ensure the best 3D experience possible when the film airs on Sept. 20.
Queen Elizabeth in 3D was led by Mark Starowicz, executive director of documentary
programming, who assembled a special team of cameramen, producers, stereographers and editors who worked closely with Buckingham Palace to get close to the Queen. "We wanted to learn," Starowicz said. "We wanted to be on the cutting edge of documentary production, and we wanted to make some history."
While there have been 3D television programs shown in Canada before-CityTV broadcast
some old Hollywood 3D movies locally in Toronto in the '70s and '80s; CTV simulcast a U.S. program in 2005, NBC's Medium, which contained some 3D sequences; Discovery Channel carried some 3D moments during a U.S. program on sharks; and Bell TV simulcast this year's Masters Golf Tournament in 3D-the CBC broadcast is the first to be Canadian-shot and - produced and transmitted nationally on this scale.