Sky 3D Channel Questions – from April 2010.

Will theSky 3D Channel be sports only? What other content will we find in it initially if not?

We will be making more announcements about other content over the coming months. At launch, the Sky 3D Channel will offer our residential customers will include original, appointment to view 3D content each week across Sports, Movies, Arts, Music, Entertainment as well as pay per view movies and events.

Are there already plans for the launch of more 3D channels?

All we are announcing today is Europe’s first dedicated 3D TV channel showing a mix of programming genres. As more content becomes available, we may look to launch additional channels but it’s too early to say.

The Sky 3D Channel will initially be free to those subscribing to the top HD package. How long will this free period last and what kind of added subscription cost will customers be looking at once the tariff comes in?

The Sky 3D Channel will initially be available at no extra cost to customers who take our top programming pack and our HD pack. As more content is available for the channel we may look to change the way we offer it to customers, but again it’s too early to say when or how much.

What date in April will the Sky 3D Channel be launching and what will be the first transmission?

We will have more announcements to make about exactly when in April the channel will be available in pubs. To be clear it’s for pubs in April and in people’s living rooms later this year.

Will normal customers be able to receive the Sky 3D Channel from their own homes from April if, of course, they have their own 3D Ready TVs? If not, when will that be possible?

In April the 3D channel will be launching to hundreds of other pubs. The service will launch in consumer’s homes later this year.

Will Sky be helping customers make the switch to 3D TV by offering TV set upgrades as part of the satellite package or is there permission for retailers to bundle 3DTVs in with a 3D Sky subscription as well? Essentially, will Sky be helping out on the hardware front in any way or is it just a case of the consumer sorting it out for themselves?

Again we’ll have more announcements about our marketing plans over the coming months. But we don’t anticipate there will be a need to subsidise the cost of the TVs as our understanding is they’ll be priced competitively – you’ve probably gathered consumers will be looking at a £200 premium on the cost of an equivalent sized HD TV. It won’t just be Sky driving uptake of 3D TV – games consoles and DVD manufacturers will be too – the market will take care of itself.

As well as the one Premiership game each week, what are the next sport/s we will see introduced in 3D in the coming months? Have you trialled cricket or darts? They could be quite special.

We’re only announcing Premiership football today but we have already done experiments shooting Rugby and Golf which work really well in 3D. We’ll have more to say about other events over the coming months.

Will the new Sky 3D Channel be running 24/7 even if much of the content is repeated? If not, then will it just be one game a week from April until things get going? Is this part of the reason the channel will initially be free?

As the channel will initially offer a limited range of content, we will be offering it at no extra cost to customers who take our top package and the Sky HD pack. As demand increases and the availability of content increases we will change schedule accordingly.

How does it compare to 3D in cinemas?

In essence the way in which 3D is shown at cinemas and how you can experience 3D at home are very similar. With Sky 3D however, you can be sure you’ll get the best seat in the house as well as the added benefit of Sky+ functionality allowing you to pause, rewind and record 3D TV.

How does it compare to the 3D I have seen through red and green glasses?

The ‘red and green’ glasses form of 3D (anaglyph) was popular back in the 80s with Hollywood films like Jaws-3D. Although the principles are the same, Sky 3D delivers a far superior experience. Anaglyph images suffer from a loss of colour, as the method for filtering out the left and right images strip out a wide range of colour from the image, making images dark and dull at times. It also creates an image that is hard for the brain to process, leading to the headaches and eye strain associated with 3D in the past.

With Sky 3D however, the picture you see will be as good as normal HD TV.

Can 3D TVs only be used to watch 3D content?

The new 3D ready TVs coming into the market will all be fully HD ready, so rest assured you can still watch all of the great HD and SD content available on Sky on the same TV as you enjoy Sky 3D.

Active v Passive 3D explained

Active v Passive 3D refers to the type of glasses you have to wear to watch 3D.

Active glasses contain LCD lenses that alternately ‘black-out’ each eye depending on whether the right or left image is being displayed on the screen. They are referred to as active because they require a battery to operate the LCD lenses. The shuttering occurs so rapidly that you don’t see the shutters just the amazing 3D picture.

Passive glasses use polarisation to separate out the left and right image. They are referred to as passive because the glasses do not require any power to operate them. These work with polarised TVs that use circular polarisation to deliver the two images to the viewer. The TVs have a polarized filter integrated into the screen, and when switched into a 3D mode, the filter orientates the light emitting from screen differently for the left and right image. When you put on the passive polarised glasses the left lens has a filter that blocks out the right image and right lens has a filter that blocks out the left image.

One important point to consider is the cost of replacing broken or lost 3D glasses. Active glasses will cost more than polarised glasses due to the additional technology they use. Active glasses will also occasionally need a new lithium battery (similar to a watch battery) when it runs out.

Will I be able to record 3D programmes?

All the usual Sky+ features will be available on the Sky 3D channel.