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Sky 3D Launch Date Unveiled

Gordon Kelly


Sky 3D Launch Date Unveiled

Yes, 3D - it's really 2D surfaces presented at different depths, I don't think it adds anything to a film and encourages directing on rails, while also being stupidly expensive and impractical - BUT many others disagree...

So if you find yourself in that group then you'll be pleased as punch to hear Sky 3D will officially launch on Saturday 3 April. The debut feature will be Manchester United verses Chelsea, which is somewhat akin to its trial of Arsenal verses Manchester United in nine pubs on 31 January.

Following this five additional Premier League teams will get the 2D surfaces presented at different depths 3D treatment before the end of the season along with the Coca-Cola Football League Play-Off Finals from Wembley Stadium in May. Between these major events Sky will also be running a range of different programming during selected hours of the day.

Unlike the trial, Sky will make the service available to consumers as well with the logically named 'Sky 3D' channel appearing in its EPG before 3 April. Interested customers will need to be HD subscribers and call Sky to give details of the 3D TV they own in order to activate the channel. It will initially be available at no extra cost for customers who subscribe to Sky’s top channels and HD pack.

Sky 3D supports both ‘active’ and ‘passive’ 3D formats (yes it is the new capacitive verses resistive) so it will work happily will all makes of 3D TV. The launch is ahead of when we had expected since "summer" had been the loosely touted timeframe, so it looks like Sky has things well in hand. Until then, check out our Sky 3D guide.


Sky 3D

Ala Miah

March 19, 2010, 7:44 pm

It should have been called 2.5 3D and then I would of forgiven them for shoving this unconvincing technology down our throat. But since it's not, im not forgiving any of them!


March 19, 2010, 8:07 pm

@Ala - I like that! 2.5 3D :)

Thing is companies love big slogans which is why, in mobile broadband for example, LTE (technically 3.G) will likely be marketed as 4G despite 4G actually being a completely different (and wholly unfinished) standard.


March 19, 2010, 8:58 pm

2.5 3D = 7.5D Woh! No wonder it's unconvincing! :-)

Well, what you expect from BSkyB?


March 19, 2010, 9:34 pm

I think personal prejudices are beginning detract from the quality of this website. Yes, we know you think 3D is "really 2D surfaces presented at different depths", but why do you feel the need to say this in nearly every 3D related news item? I haven't seen any new iterations of 3D, so I'm far from a convert, and from what I've heard, I'm probably going to have a similar opinion to you, in that it's just a collection of cardboard cut-outs at different depths. However, I'm finding the repetition of opinion on certain subjects and companies very yawn worthy.


March 19, 2010, 10:06 pm

I don't know where the 'cardboard cutouts' thing comes from. It isn't 2d surfaces presented at different depths, it is stereoscopic 3D, i.e. two different images, one for each eye, filmed from different angles, which is principally how the brain reconstructs 3D images (yes, there are other factors at play, such as focal depth and parallax, but the main one is the stereoscopic effect - ask anyone who has lost an eye).

I realise that some people will never be happy until they have a 'true' 3D image like some kind of Star Trek holodeck, but THAT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN IN OUR LIFETIMES. Get over it. The concept of 3D TV that you can move around and view from different angles is totally impossible using conventional cameras and broadcast technology. You'd need to motion capture everything, broadcast it in the form of vertices and textures, and render it locally on your fantasy holo projector or VR headset or whatever, like a video game. Like James Cameron did with Avatar, except rendered in real time and with some kind of magic motion capture technology that works perfectly (again in real time for 'live' broadcasts) on ordinary images where people aren't in a purpose built soundstage wearing black spandex, covered in shiny stickers. Good luck with that.


March 19, 2010, 10:10 pm

More and more unconvinced as to why I'm paying sky £59 a month, £708 a year - I have to earn over £1000 to pay for that. So after 14 years paying for the privilege of not watching a fraction of the channels - I've cancelled and am heading to FreesatHD - I'll pay for what i watch from now on and save a bundle. Clearly the 3D gimmick is another case of the emperors new clothes - much like when the mobile phone companies told us we'd all be making mobile video calls

Pass - I'll be happier WITH the money thanks sky


March 19, 2010, 11:03 pm

I have to agree with Metalex on some points, the 3D bashing is becoming slightly childish and a headache, yes you have the right to your views as this is your website but remember it was made for the public like me to read and determine for ourselves what is good or bad, if this was a review I could understand the criticism. I have enjoyed certain 3D material but it is agreed impractical for home viewing. I look forward to see how it survives amongst money-tight consumers as well but please chill out with the constant criticism, it is very unbecoming.


March 20, 2010, 12:26 am

Two questions:


"it's really 2D surfaces presented at different depths"

So what would be "proper" 3D TV then? Some sort of holographic projection display or something??



"Sky 3D supports both &#8216active&#8217 and &#8216passive&#8217 3D formats"

So which one is better??


March 20, 2010, 10:46 am

@Metalex - 1. These are not 'personal prejudices' - they are my professional opinions having been witness to demonstrations of 3D from all the major TV manufacturers. Can you say the same? 2. Because not every person reads every article.

@John - 1. Because "stereoscopic 3D" looks like 2D surfaces presented at different depths! 2. I'll bet you it will. 3. And if this isn't 'true' 3D - let's not call it 3D then...

@Suge - 1. see all points above. 2. As we have SEEN 3D in action from Samsung, Pioneer, LG and Sony retail TVs in controlled environments who is in a better position to comment? There is absolutely nothing childish on a reviews site about the professionals who run it stating their opinion. Tell you what, shall we rename the site TrustedPublicViews and write nothing but product descriptions and everyone else can tell us how they think products and services are likely to be? Yep, that would be helpful.

@Mike337 - 1. yep. So let's not call this 3D. 2. Pros and cons: Passive lenses have horizontal polarization in one eye, vertical in the other. Active shows two different pictures simultaneously - one to each eye. Active glasses require power, passive don't which make active glasses heavier and more of a faff. Then again Active can have fractionally better image quality, but can also be harder on the eyes and tend to make viewers feel more nauseous.

My most recent experience of 3D: having a 20 minute clip restarted 10 minutes in while the well known manufacturer tried to put the 3D TV in question into 3D mode. It turned out the TV was already in 3D mode...

We'll always have opinions people, but they will be based on real world, hands-on experience.


March 20, 2010, 2:37 pm

My initial thoughts are that 3D is just another gimmick for home tv and I'm with 'castalan' on his/her comments about paying daft subcription rates to Sky, when you've got a perfectly good alternative with FREESAT! Admittedly I've not tried on a pair of specs to actually sample the 3D effect ( or whatever effect is experienced through these glasses and may be totally pursuaded otherwise), but I'm perfectly happy with sticking with 2D tv. As I've said before, the only thing SKY has over FREESAT currently as far as I'm concerned is their higher volume of HD offerings, but again a premium must be paid for this. I certainly see no pleasure in being sat in front of a tv screen wearing a pair of glasses, so unsociable and probably uncomfortable!! When you think you can get a reasonably standard 4 feed satellite installation even with say for example the HUMAX 500 GB PVR, you're looking at about £530 max, compared with people paying £720 per annum for the top package on SKY, and then CONTINUING to pay them ( in some cases just to keep your equipment functioning the way it's supposed to, i.e. the recording function on SKY boxes), no way and no thanks! FREESAT is by far the better option for me!I just hope FREESAT don't introduce a 3D tv offering, unless you can view the real 3D effect through the naked eye! but I guess that won't be possible, at least for years to come, until someone comes up with the technology to achieve this.


March 20, 2010, 10:11 pm

Try this: http://www.techeblog.com/in...

Steady on folks - @Metalex you seem to be taking this personally? Gordon has beatan me to it with his commenst above but he is doing nothing different from any professional Journalist. Nerdy dry reports would not make TR as popular as it is. Half the fun is reading Gordon's comments.

In any case we all have a fair opportunity to comment, including ones not positive ones about TR as proven here again.

@Mike if we want a good FREE alternative HD to Sky or VMedia anytime SOON then try writing to BBC Trustees and Mr Thomson, BBC Dir. Gen. (trust.enquiries@bbc.co.uk); Rt Hon Ben Bradshaw MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (bradshawb@parliament.uk & enquiries@culture.gov.uk); the Culture, Media and Sport Committee Members (cmscom@parliament.uk); Baroness Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury &#8211 Spokesperson for Culture, Media and Sport (info@libdems.org.uk); and your MP (Find it here: http://www.parliament.uk/di....

In fact I would suggest Gordon should seek to interview Mr Thompson, BBC Dir. Gen. and BBC's Head of HD; Rt Hon Ben Bradshaw MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Putting to them the issues raised repeatedly here by TR readers. so that the message gets to the powers be.

But readers writing to the abovesaid will do even greater good. So please write in.


March 21, 2010, 3:45 am

I think that 3D technology is shallow (excuse the pun...)

No doubt millions of pounds will be spent on marketing operations to force the gimmick down our throats.

Let's hold our nerve.

I think that many technology companies think that as long as they spend enough cash to create a fashion/hype, they'll get away with too frequently shoddy under-achieving products that turn out to be quite distant from their initial claims.

How many times, so many amongst us have experienced the purchase of products on which we were promised further developments that would future-proof our investment, only to be left high and dry.

Those of us who have just recently adopted Widescreen HD and Bluray are unimpressed by this whirlwind of announcements and novelties.

My humble opinion is that this frenzy serves more crucially the merchants and their lobbyists than their customers.

Equally, it is unfair from some to expect that the media are here to think for us.

That responsibility is ours to keep.


March 22, 2010, 1:18 pm

So am I just going to need bog standard 3d glasses that i picked up from watching Avatar at the cinema?


March 22, 2010, 9:10 pm

@algsuk - you wish! Glasses will be circa £100 per pair and as all manufacturers use their own variants on the two main types of 3D technology (Active and Passive) these glasses will only work with their own sets, ie: Samsung with Samsung, Sony with Sony...

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