Feeds

Content - not tech - delaying possible Sky 3D channel

Broadcaster talks openly about 3D TV's future

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Exclusive Content, rather than technical issues, is holding back the launch of a 3D TV offering by broadcaster Sky, Register Hardware has learned.

It was recently reported that Sky’s Chief Engineer, Chris Johns, had suggested that homes could see 3D TV by Christmas – but whether Johns’ meant specifically from Sky, or was talking in a more general sense, remains unclear.

However, Sky has since told Register Hardware that it’s now deciding which types of content would be best suited to 3D broadcasts and that it’s this groundwork – for which the broadcaster has no firm timetable – that’ll determine if and when Sky offers a 3D service.

“We need a body of content to populate 3D TV [with] and to work out how to market it”, said a company spokesman. “We have some content, but we don’t have expansive content.”

Hollywood may help here - movie makers are already shooting films in 3D, the spokesman claimed, in preparation for a shift from 2D imagery that they see as inevitable.

As yet, no standards exist for 3D content delivery, but it appears that content companies are getting material ready now and will worry about formats later.

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this year, Panasonic called for the rapid development of a standard for 3D to be displayed on a 1080p TV. Its initiative has already received the thumbs-up from Terminator and Titanic director James Cameron, who's next movie, the long-awaited Avatar, is set to feature state-of-the-art 3D tech.

Meantime, Sky plans to quiz customers to gauge if they have an appetite for 3D TV, and across which genres, whether sports, documentaries or entertainment.

A Sky 3D TV service is certainly technically possible, the spokesman confirmed. Back in December 2008, the company claimed to have demonstrated 3D TV inside its London HQ, using just a regular “3D Ready” TV, 3D content sourced from a hard drive and a standard Sky+ HD set-top box.

If Sky launched the service trialled at its HQ, customers would still have to don special specs, the spokesman admitted, because “at present the 3D image with glasses is superior to that without glasses”.

Panasonic's system, for one, requires "a special pair of active shutter glasses that work in synchronisation with the Plasma HDTV", the manufacturer said earlier this year.

If 3D TV firms raise their game he implied, then there’s hope that any Sky 3D service could be enjoyed without glasses. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.