BBC Broadcasting 3D Strictly Come Dancing

The live show will start at 7pm on 17 December

The BBC is to enter the third dimension once again, following the successful 3D trial that took place during the Wimbledon tennis Championships back in June and ast year's studio based 3D test: It was a special Strictly Come Dancing sequence for Children in Need - actually it was the second time Children in Need tried 3D.

The 2010 trial was such a success the BBC are continuing the 3D trials with the Strictly Come Dancing final from Blackpool on 17 December 2011.

And the good news is that, as long as you've got a 3D TV, you'll be able to tune in. You don't need Virgin Media or Sky (although the 3D action will be available on both) as the action will be shown on both Freesat and Freeview via the BBC HD channel. 3D action will also, for the first time, be available on the BBC iPlayer (on set top boxes) in what the corporation is dubbing a "technical trial".

It will also be shown live in selected cinemas including in London, Burnley, Cardiff, Belfast and Leamington.

"We have decided to do one of the highest viewed, highest profile programmes we have, live in 3D, not from the comfort and safety of Television Centre, but from an outside broadcast in the middle of Blackpool - and a week before Christmas," said Andy Quested, head of technology for BBC HD and 3D. "The phrase 'you don't have to be mad to work here, but it helps' springs to mind."


The BBC HD promo channel will also feature a new 3D section, with an updated 3D test card. Sky recently gave the Test Card a 21st century 3D makeover, but the BBC's effort is a rehash of the 1980s original.

On the technical side, the final will be shown in 3D as a result of left and right pictures being converted from 1080 line interlace at 25 frames a second (1080i/25) to 720 line progressive at 50 frames a second (720p/50). Both images will be sub sampled into a single top/bottom image and the data rate will be encoded for iPlayer distribution.

The live show will start at 7pm on 17 December.