Distill all this down, and once The Ryder Cup’s rain-soaked presence had subsided, real, fresh 3D content in the first week reduces to roughly between six and seven hours a day. And this reduces further in week two, as the same shows you’ve already seen in week one crop up again in week two.
Heading into the second week of the Sky 3D domestic channel did at least see a marked reduction in the length of time the 3D Preview loop was running, though, and the welcome appearance of both some interesting material dug out from Sky’s archive, and a few films.
However, as noted above, from even our experience of the first two weeks it seems fair to say that much of this initially welcome archive material will be repeated very regularly for some time to come.
Also, the majority of the archive material appearing in the second week is sports footage, such as the US Masters Golf 2010 tournament, and the US Open Tennis final. Which means, of course, that you already know the result! This footage therefore only has technical interest value, as an experience of 3D with different types of footage.
The only really new sports footage spotted during the first two weeks was coverage of the Heineken European Rugby Cup, and live coverage of the Scotland vs Spain Euro 2012 Qualifier. And you won’t be surprised to hear that both these ‘showcase’ live events became regular repeats over the coming days!
There are two more surprises about the second-week coverage, neither of them welcome. First, we spotted no 3D Premiership football coverage. Second, one of the new films making an appearance, Streetdance, was a Pay Per View event, setting you back £2.99.
Regarding the former point, the lack of footie action had us worrying that Sky was going to start showing Premiership matches in 3D only on a pay per view basis, or that it was going to preserve live coverage for the pubs and clubs market. However, thankfully the truth is much less sinister. For as the live Scotland/Spain match reminds us, Sky’s first 3D weekend after the Ryder Cup corresponded with a UK league break while Euro 2012 qualifiers took place. So it is that on the first Sunday after our 14-day observation was over, the huge Merseyside Derby was present and correct in 3D, live and free. Phew.
As for the pay-per-view film, it’s fair to say that Sky has never hidden the fact that it will be showing some 3D material on a pay-per-view basis. Our gripe is that it’s doing it already, despite the relatively little amount of original/unrepeated daily content the 3D channel currently has to offer.
Oh well - we guess we’ll just have to try and console ourselves by remembering that Sky is at least not charging us extra on our subscriptions to get its 3D channel.