Sky has announced that it will launch Sky 3D, Europe’s first dedicated 3D TV channel, this April. As part of the final preparations for this ground-breaking launch, Sky previewed the new service with a world first on Sunday 31 January 2010, becoming the first TV company anywhere to broadcast a live 3D TV sports event to a public audience. The Premier League clash between Arsenal and Manchester United was filmed in 3D and broadcast over the Sky platform to selected pubs around the UK and Ireland, with their customers becoming the first audiences anywhere in the world to experience live Premier League in 3D.
To support this landmark broadcast, the nine pubs â€“ located in London, Manchester, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Dublin – have been kitted out specially with some of the first ‘3D Ready’ TV sets to reach the UK and Ireland. As 3D TVs become more widely available, Sky will roll out its 3D channel to hundreds of pubs from April, allowing football fans across the country the opportunity to experience a live Premier League match in 3D each week.
Once 3D TVs begin to reach the consumer market later this year, Sky will then make Sky 3D available to all Sky+HD customers, giving millions of people the opportunity to watch a wide range of content in 3D, including movies, sport, documentaries, entertainment, and the arts.
Sky 3D works with all existing Sky+HD boxes and will initially be introduced at no extra cost for customers who subscribe to Sky’s top TV package and the Sky HD pack. Sky 3D will also be compatible with all 3D Ready TVs coming to the UK and Ireland this year, including all models from Sony, Samsung, LG and Panasonic.
To make the 3D preview a reality, Sky SportsÂ produced two edits of its live coverage of Sunday’s game at the Emirates Stadium, one for its HD channel feed and another dedicated to 3D. Eight specially engineered 3D camera rigsÂ housed sixteen of Sky’s high definition cameras, to provide comprehensive stereoscopic coverage from all angles. The 3D broadcast wase supported by Sky’s dedicated 3D production team and purpose built 3D outside broadcast truck, which enabled live mixing between camera positions, slow motion replays and the use of innovative 3D graphics.
Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s chief executive, said: “3D is without doubt one of the most talked-about developments in television for many years. Sky has always innovated to bring customers the best possible viewing experience, so we fully intend to take the lead in bringing the spectacle of 3D to the UK and Ireland.”