BEIJING  - China’s state broadcaster has test-launched a 3D television channel, state media said, in a bid to draw viewers and drive consumption by encouraging people to upgrade to 3D-capable sets.

Viewers in the world’s largest TV audience now can watch the China 3D TV Trial Channel with a 3D TV, special glasses and a set-top box, Xinhua news agency said. The 3D channel broadcasts three daily rotations of four-and-a-half hours of 3D content such as performing arts, cartoons, movies and sports, and promises programming from the upcoming London Summer Olympics. State-run China Central Television launched the service Sunday, initially free of charge, with partners Beijing TV, Shanghai Media Group, Jiangsu TV, Tianjin TV and Shenzhen TV — reaching China’s biggest viewing and advertising markets. To make up for current slim pickings in 3D programming available in China, or elsewhere, each partner broadcaster has established specialist 3D production units, Xinhua said.