ACMA Concludes Review of 3D TV Trials

  • More trials to come
  • Will be limited in scope
  • Additional safeguards needed

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced it has concluded its review of 3D TV trials and will continue to consider authorising trials of emerging technologies using the currently unassigned digital television channels until the end of 2011.

The ACMA has set out its approach to further trials to assist broadcasters and the community to understand the conditions under which these trials may be conducted.

“The ACMA has a unique opportunity to provide access to valuable UHF spectrum that will only be available for a short period of time during the switchover from analogue to digital television,” said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.  “Recent 3D TV trials have helped pioneer a new form of broadcasting in Australia and internationally. Providing appropriate safeguards are in place to protect consumers’ interests, the ACMA will continue to facilitate industry’s deployment of 3D TV and other evolving technologies in the period to the end of 2011. The ACMA also decided that any further trials must be of a short duration, and broadcasters will be required to give the ACMA undertakings on measures that will assist consumers to understand that trial broadcasts are temporary and will only be available in a limited number of locations.”

Later in 2011, the ACMA will review its approach to the use of temporary spectrum, as the requirements for the restacking of existing television channels become clearer and the opportunity to use these vacant channels begins to close.

In September last year the ACMA released a discussion paper, Temporary trials of 3D TV and other emerging technologies, which called for comment on a range of matters associated with trials of new technology, including spectrum allocation and consumer issues.

The ACMA considered responses to the discussion paper, reports from broadcasters on previous 3D TV trials earlier in the year, and other information of the evolution of 3D TV from both Australian and international sources. 

It concluded that further trials of 3D TV could provide broadcasters with valuable information concerning this new technology, but that additional safeguards were needed to manage consumer expectations about the continuing availability of 3D broadcasts.

The ACMA website has been updated, with a new section on 3D TV setting out the ACMA approach to further trials. The responses the ACMA received to the discussion paper can also be accessed through this page.