Sky to broadcast Premiere League in 3D this weekend

UK pay-TV operator BSkyB will become the first broadcaster to deliver live commercial 3D TV when it broadcasts the Arsenal v Manchester United match in 3D to selected pubs. The event forms part of the final preparations before the service launches in April.

The Premier League clash between Arsenal and Manchester United will be filmed in 3D and broadcast over the Sky platform to nine pubs around the UK and Ireland, located in London, Manchester, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Dublin. The pubs have all been fitted with 3D Ready TV sets.

Eight specially engineered 3D camera rigs will house sixteen of Sky’s high definition cameras, to provide stereoscopic coverage of the match from all angles. The 3D broadcast will be supported by Sky’s dedicated 3D production team and purpose-built 3D outside broadcast truck, which will enable live mixing between camera positions, slow motion replays and the use of 3D graphics. There will also be a dedicated commentary team to support the 3D edit.  

Sky will roll out the 3D channel to hundreds of pubs from April and will offer a live Premier League match in 3D each week.  
The operator said it plans to roll Sky 3D out to all customers with Sky Plus HD boxes later this year as 3D TV sets start to reach the consumer market. It will offer a range of content in 3D, including movies, sport, documentaries, entertainment, and the arts.  

Sky re-emphasised that 3D TV will work with all existing Sky Plus HD boxes and revealed that the service will initially be introduced at no extra cost for customers who subscribe to Sky’s top TV package and the Sky HD pack. The service 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.  

“2010 is the year for 3D TV. People have already embraced 3D cinema and because Sky’s 3D service uses the same kind of technology, we’re confident there will be demand for sport, movies, concerts and drama in 3D,” said Gerry O’Sullivan, Sky’s director of strategic product development.