Welho, the largest cable operator in Finland, has started 3DTV test distribution in its cable network in the Helsinki region in mid-December. The signal is distributed from Welho's head-end to all homes in the network, just like any ordinary cable channel. A sneak preview of future TV can be seen in Welho Store in Helsinki. Welho's 3DTV test is auto-stereoscopic, offering a future viewing experience without 3D glasses. Commercial 3DTV launch is scheduled to start in 2010

Welho has been upgrading its service platform and fibre network consistently in order to be able to offer different capacity-intensive future services, such as 3DTV. Welho plans to launch commercial 3DTV services already next year.

"Homes connected to Welho's network have always been in a privileged position because we see it as our mission to bring our customers all the new and interesting developments that TV can provide. Thanks to our substantial investments in network capacity, we can be fast in launching fascinating new services and products, brought about by technological advancement. We were among the first to offer digital HDTV services, and now we are ready for the new TV revolution," says Johan Flykt, President of Welho.

Welho has built the 3DTV demo together with Finnish Teleste and Stereoscope. The technolocigal solution for transmitting the 3D signal from Welho's head-end to the cable network was implemented by Teleste, and Stereoscope has edited and partly produced the 3D content.

"Our goal is to bring new innovations to our customers for testing as early as possible, so that we can use customer feedback in developing our services," says Kari Ruopsa, Vice President of Technology at Welho.

The first 3DTV broadcasts will most likely be international sports events and concerts. James Cameron's revolutionary 3D movie Avatar will open in cinemas this Friday. "We are ready with our distribution technology, so if 3D content becomes available soon enough, our customers will be able to watch these programmes in 3D at home among the first," Ruopsa promises.

Welho is the largest cable TV operator in Finland, and a significant broadband service provider. Welho is a Sanoma company, and part of the electronic media division Sanoma Entertainment.