Sky set to launch 3D TV in 2010

Sky announced today that it plans to offer 3D TV next year in the UK.

Sky's 3D channel will be the first in the UK when it launches next year. The channel will offer a selection of current 3D programming, which is expected to include movies, entertainment and sport. The service will be broadcast across Sky's existing HD infrastructure and be available via the current generation of Sky+HD set-top boxes.

The next step for consumers is to purchase a '3D Ready' TV. Sony, Samsung and Panasonic all announced their plans for a big push towards 3D TV at this years Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. No TVs are available in the UK yet but sets are expected to be on sale next year. In order to get the full 3D experience you will need to put on a pair of 3D glasses, maybe we'll see some "should've gone to specsavers" 3D glasses adverts in the not so near future?

Brian Sullivan, Managing Director of Sky's Customer Group claims "3D is a genuinely 'seeing is believing' experience, making TV come to life as never before. Just like the launch of digital, Sky+ and HD, this is latest step in our commitment to innovating for customers." Sky will also be expanding its HD channels soon with ESPN HD (August 2009) and Sky News HD (Spring 2010).

Sky has recorded the following events in 3D:

  • Usain Bolt, sprinting 150 metres down a specially designed track on Manchester's Deansgate during the Bupa Great City Games (17 May 2009)
  • Swan Lake, a special performance by English National Ballet to capture the UK's first ballet for 3D TV (9 April 2009)
  • England vs. New Zealand Rugby Union Test Match (29th November)
  • Sky1's Gladiators (December 2008)
  • Liverpool FC vs Marseille UEFA Champions League (26th November 2008)
  • Ricky Hatton vs. Juan Lazcano (12th March 2008)

Sky demonstrated 3D TV late last year and began investing in recording events. The equipment that Sky uses to record footage consists of two standard cameras so Sky doesn't expect it will incur huge costs to upgrade all the current HD equipment. Further details including pricing, packaging and entitlement, will be announced closer to launch.

This is potentially how cool (yea right) you'll look sitting in your living room with 3D glasses on:


Video Credit: Stuff.tv

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Jeez there are some thick people posting about this article.

"Just broadcast the polarised image" lol.

I say this is the future - well done Sky.

We just need full HD home projectors to catch up now and we can have an IMAX 3D experience in the living room :)

Seriously cool.

LOL!!! I so liked how the Ad started with the SKY -SPorts LOGO.....
The SKY team thinking - I bet the SPORTS FANS will always Cough out dough for
Anything sports Related!!!! Ca$h Camel.

I guess you can't blame them, since the Majority of their Customer base come from people
with Sports Related Interest. Cough!! Cough!! Football

love the demo.. lol.. bit like them previwing colour tv on a black and white set!!!!! or stereo sound through 1 speaker

DrScouse said,
love the demo.. lol.. bit like them previwing colour tv on a black and white set!!!!! or stereo sound through 1 speaker

Yes it was rather a pointless video.

I think 3D only will pick-up when first 24" monitor 1920x1200 with native 120Hz (Input/Output) will be released (must happen this year). IT enthusiasts usually have 1920x1200+ screen already so they don't want to downgrade to solutions like nVidia which offers smaller 22" 1680x1050 screen (despite 1680x1050 Stereo LR frame having 53% more visual data than single 1920x1200 frame). Turning Stereo3D on your monitor is like doubling image quality.

3D TV deniers look like Digital TV deniers who never saw IMAX, proper 3D screen or played computer games in Stereo3D mode.

Right, why do you need a new TV?

A few years ago the BBC broadcast a series of special programs in 3D, I think it was for Comic Relief or something. Now you needed glasses to view the 3D image but if you didn't wear the glasses you would just see the standard 2D picture as if you were watching normal TV. You didn't need a special TV and this was broadcast to millions of viewers and there was no HD back then. It worked really well.

Surely that is a better system than Sky's offering.

kraized said,
Right, why do you need a new TV?

A few years ago the BBC broadcast a series of special programs in 3D, I think it was for Comic Relief or something. Now you needed glasses to view the 3D image but if you didn't wear the glasses you would just see the standard 2D picture as if you were watching normal TV. You didn't need a special TV and this was broadcast to millions of viewers and there was no HD back then. It worked really well.

Surely that is a better system than Sky's offering. :/

No. It does not work well. The only kind of "3d" tv you can broadcast over a regular TV is via the pulfrich effect. Basically, it darkens one eye slightly to slow it down.

It's really, really, really crappy compared to a true 3d effect, which broadcasts different images into each eye via polarizers. I'd give it gimmicky quality at best.

Why the hell would you need to shell out for a "3D TV"?

Just broadcast the polarised image and watch it on any TV. You can even get 3D Webcams that film at a precise angle (cheap version of sky) and output on a standard pc monitor. so the other person gets the full 3D effect.

Good call. As far as I can see, the process Sky are going with is this.

Film something with two cameras at slightly different angles.
Broadcast each camera's image separately.
TV then takes both pictures and intermingles them to create a polarised picture.

The only advantage I can think of for doing it this way is that you could in theory apply it to all channels straight away and have a toggle option in the Sky box to only output a one of the pictures to the TV if the user doesn't have a 3D TV. Oh and it saves money for Sky as they don't need lots of compute power to merge the two images into one prior to broadcasting.

Unplugged said,
Why the hell would you need to shell out for a "3D TV"?

Just broadcast the polarised image and watch it on any TV. You can even get 3D Webcams that film at a precise angle (cheap version of sky) and output on a standard pc monitor. so the other person gets the full 3D effect.

"Just broadcast the polarized image"?

Do you even know how 3d film works? Or what polarized light is? Because that comment made little to no sense.

The mass produced, cheap-as-chips glasses they give you in 3D cinemas...no. However once this finds it's way into the home, I'm sure they'll release a whole host of good looking and comfortable 3D glasses.

So do we need glasses or does the TV some how do all this work for us?

Also, I thought the preview of this was pretty stupid since I didn't actually see anything beneficial.

yeah you do, as per the article:

In order to get the full 3D experience you will need to put on a pair of 3D glasses, maybe we'll see some "should of gone to spec savers" 3D glasses adverts in the not so near future?

You need both. The TV produces the weird two-picture effect and the glasses turns that into something your brain views as 3D.

As far as I know, it's possible for a regular HDTV to display 3D stuff like this as long as it has a refresh rate of 120Hz but I'm not sure if that's a "different" 3D.

Kushan said,
As far as I know, it's possible for a regular HDTV to display 3D stuff like this as long as it has a refresh rate of 120Hz but I'm not sure if that's a "different" 3D.

Technically, any TV can display 3d if you had glasses that would block themselves at whatever the frequency the TV is operating at (That's an active glass) or ones that darken one eye. (That's the pulfrich effect). I don't really consider the pulfrich effect to be "true" 3d, though. 3d via the pulfrich effect is of very, very, very poor quality compared to a broadcast designed to send truly different images to each eye.

Anyway, for a good 3d image, you'd need a new TV

How is someone an idiot for watching something in 3d? Our entire existence is in three dimensions, surely it makes less sense to want to view things in just two dimensions?

red77stars said,
Seriously, only idiot would watch things in 3D.

Seriously, only idiot would dismiss something out of hand without trying it.

TCLN Ryster said,
Seriously, only idiot would dismiss something out of hand without trying it.


seriously why would some one fork out a shed load of money just to "try" out one new tv channel ??

Fubar said,
seriously why would some one fork out a shed load of money just to "try" out one new tv channel ??

Yeh but they can already use the same tech for blueray discs as well so its not just one thing!

Fubar said,
seriously why would some one fork out a shed load of money just to "try" out one new tv channel ??

I said TRY not BUY. Plenty of shops will have display models for your to look at. Only after seeing it would it be valid to dismiss 3D as a waste of money.

who cares, about people thinking this is a waste of time, the best bit is that standard HD TVs will drop in price eventually (HOW eventually is a different matter...maybe when they bring out HD with a 6000*6000 pixel resolution or something crazy like that)

I've just watched the video since making my first post. It doesn't seem like Sky have wasted that much time on this. They've been filming alot of stuff in 3D for a while now, and it's just a case of broadcasting those two images side-by-side. The TV does all the hard work.

For once I wish they concentrate on fixing up their existing stuff instead of releasing new products that 0.00000001% of the population can use. The new EPG on Sky+HD boxes is just abysmal. It's sluggish and full of bugs, not to mention all of our boxes crash regularly, or have failed recordings with No Signal, or Power Cut (even when there has been none), etc.

The new epg works absolutely fine for me, no bugs or problems whatsoever. It's possibly down to the fact they use so many manufacturers for their boxes - I suspect that since buying out amstrad they'll eventually fade them in as the sole manufacturer.

Glad to find I'm not the only one with the crashes and failed recording. Whenever I go to watch something I've recorded I'm always glad that that repeat things so much, even if I do have to wait 3 months for the series to cycle back for the one episode that failed 5 minutes into recording....

Glad you've all had the new EPG. Am STILL waiting, have been since Feb when I get the letter saying it was coming...