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Sky switches on 3D TV channel in 2010

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Sky is to launch the UK’s first 3D TV channel in 2010.

Sky_3D_about_03

Click for an explanation of how Sky 3D works

The channel will offer a broad selection of 3D content, including movies, entertainment and sport.

All content will be captured using HD cameras and broadcast over the firm’s existing HD infrastructure, making use of existing Sky+ HD set-top boxes.

To see a 3D image, you must have a 3D-ready TV and wear polarising glasses. This is easier said than done: right now, there are no 3D TVs for sale in the UK. But sets from several manufacturer should be available by launch.

Sky is not saying precisely what the channel’s 3D resolution will be when it reaches your living room. However, the broadcaster hinted to Register Hardware that it will sit somewhere between SD and 1080p.

The resolution depends on Sky’s use of current HD infrastructure, which provides a broadcast rate for content of up to 18Mb/s. But because a 3D image requires two images – one for your left-hand eye and another for your right-hand eye – Sky must broadcast both images simultaneously.

As a result, the resolution at which, say, a football game is captured in 3D must be downgraded for it to be successfully broadcast.

Sky’s announcement is not wholly unexpected, as the company has trialled 3D TV broadcasts internally for several months. In February, it filmed popular beat combo Keane performing a gig in London’s Abbey Road studios in 3D. Sky also recorded the ballet Swan Lake in 3D. ®

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