BSkyB Launches 3D for the Home With Ryder Cup Coverage

Television in the UK has “changed forever,” said BSkyB in introducing 3D for the home. The satellite broadcaster’s new stereoscopic channel builds on services that have been available in more than 1,500 pubs and clubs since April.

The launch coincided with the Ryder Cup competition, and Sky reportedly sent all its 3D facilities to Celtic Manor resort in Newport, Wales, to capture the action in 3D. The effort backfired slightly: as Martin Kelner pointed out in The Guardian, the first day’s coverage — when Sky 3D began with a lot of ballyhoo — offered mostly 3D Welsh rain.

The new channel will also feature movies, drama, documentaries, and music, but sport is regarded as a major draw. Sky Sports has been delivering English Premier League football in 3D since April, using Telegenic’s T18, Europe’s first OB unit built specifically for stereoscopic operation.

Top-flight football continues to be a focus for 3D, with the Manchester, Merseyside, and north London derbies lined up during October and November, along with Manchester City vs. Arsenal and Liverpool against league leader Chelsea.

Tuesday Oct. 12 brings the first international football match in 3D, with Scotland attempting to qualify for Euro 2012 by taking on World Cup holder Spain at Hampden Park in Glasgow.

Rugby has been used as a test bed for 3D shooting, but previous coverage of the 6 Nations and other competitions has been for cinema audiences only. The first 3D rugby union for the home comes with autumn international contests that see England taking on New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa.

Sky also conducted 3D tests with boxing in the run-up to full services, and, on Nov. 13, the first live 3D title fight will see reigning champion David Haye face up to Audley Harrison for the WBA crown.

The new service can be received on existing Sky+HD set-top boxes. It is compatible with new 3DTV  sets — including those from LG, Sony, Samsung, and Panasonic — and works in both the active and passive format.

“We see 3D as ‘Event TV,’ an opportunity for people to share an incredible visual experience in their home, watching some of the biggest and best television available,” says John Cassy, channel director for Sky 3D. “The launch of the channel is the just the beginning. 3D has arrived and will change TV forever.”

SVG will have further reports on Sky 3D graphics and location facilities in the coming week.

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