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Sky to Broadcast 3D TV in 2010


Sky to Broadcast 3D TV in 2010

Sky has hardly been coy about its prototyping of 3D broadcasts over its existing infrastructure but who would have predicted it would be ready to launch a service as soon as 2010?. Whether you could predict it or not, Sky is, seeing 3D - rightly or not - as the next logical progressing in broadcast technology after high definition, launching a 3D channel next year.

From Sky's end, no upgrades are needed to its existing broadcast network as its 3D broadcast technology works using existing Sky+HD boxes - discounting a likely software update. However, would-be viewers will need a 3D-capable TV of some description.

Sky plans to have a decent amount of content available in 3D a great deal of which will presumably need to be filmed proprietarily, given the lack of 'normal' TV available in 3D. According to Sky, the channel will offer "a broad selection of the best available 3D programming, which is expected to include movies, entertainment and sport."

Sky claims its TV network is the only one able to carry 3D. So while Freesat, Virgin Media and - eventually - Freeview may be catching up with Sky's lead in HD, it looks like the company is ready to place itself in another niche, well ahead of the curve.

Sky subscribers not enthralled by the prospect of having to buy yet another HD TV - not to mention paying the inevitable high subscription Sky will attach to 3D - aren't being left out. Some time next year the currently all-but-pointless Ethernet port on Sky boxes will be put to use with the addition of a video-on-demand service to Sky's devices as an extension of the existing, PC-based Sky Anytime service.

More details will be revealed nearer the launch of both services so for now, feel free to speculate away over the specifics.



Go to comments


July 31, 2009, 5:07 pm

Since I had the "pleasure" of seeing this first hand at their Bafta talk about a month ago, I must say:

A) It still hurt my eyes after a while

B) There didn't seem to be any solution for people already wearing glasses*.

C) The 3D-capable HDTVs were hideously expensive.

I'd personally say 2011 is too soon. Kudos to Sky for having the guts to invest in 3D TV tech early on though.

*Yes, you can "see" the 3D by placing their specs over yours, but it's not exactly comfortable; as anyone who's tried placing sunglasses over their normal ones will tell you.


July 31, 2009, 6:23 pm

@drdark - Yes, that would be a sticking point for me too - the damn specs. If only Sky's system didn't need them? And also agree that 2011 is too soon - everyone's still in the process of upgrading to HD - still it's one for the future.


July 31, 2009, 9:06 pm

Yes, what drkdark said, Kudos to Sky.

Their financial model seems sound to date, more customers for HD every day according to a report this week, if I remember rightly, something like three million now.

Apart from the sensational aspect of the viewing experience, I hope 3D for the footie (which I think they have most in mind) cures the problem of sometimes not being sure which direction the ball is going on occasions, but also if IMAX is anything to go by, depth of field is sometimes an issue.

PS, just heard on the radio about Sir Bobby Robson, RIP Sir - great guy.

Tony Walker

August 1, 2009, 6:10 am

Well, given that I've had the idea on how to build a proper 3D TV for around 25 years, I can't believe people are trying to use those silly cardboard spectacles. It's actually only in recent years that the tech to make my 3D set has been readily available.

Filming would be no more difficult than today though a lot of CPU/GPU grunt would be needed to work out the "picture" for display. Today's GPU's might be able to crack that.


August 1, 2009, 4:51 pm

Good luck Sky in convincing everyone who has just spent £500 plus on a new big flat screen TV to go out and buy another one for 3D.

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