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Sky 3D: The verdict

Digital TV Europe Daily donned a pair of 3D glasses yesterday and settled down to watch the world’s first live broadcast of a sports event in 3D.

With around a hundred other guests invited by BSkyB to a London pub we watched the Arsenal vs Manchester United Premier League match played out in full 3D. And how did it look? Pretty impressive. Sky has clearly worked hard to find the camera angles that best suit the coverage – cameras placed behind the goal for replays and one positioned in front of the tunnel as the players took to the pitch offered the greatest depth and worked particularly well. The main camera angle on the halfway line, however, fell a bit flat – the sideways movement of the players and the ball failed to have as much of an impact as other angles. The enhanced Sky Sports logo and clock at the top corners of the 3D Ready TV set also proved a distraction from the main action.

This was Sky’s first attempt at a live 3D broadcast, played out to nine UK pubs, and the company will have been pleased by the response from the select few who witnessed yesterday’s match. The pay-TV operator plans to roll the service out to more pubs from April, before launching the fully dedicated 3DTV channel to all subscribers with a Sky Plus HD set-top later this year – by which time they will no doubt have further improved the experience.

Sky used LG’s new LD920 3D TV for its demos. The 47-inch LD920 is the UK’s first 3D TV to be released and, according to LG, the TVs, which were demonstrated at the recent CES show in Las Vegas, will be commercially available from April.

Judging by yesterday’s event, 3D feels like more of a novelty than the real future of TV. Whether people will be prepared to don their Blues Brothers-style 3D glasses at home remains to be seen – but in pubs where everyone look as ridiculous, and initially as self-conscious, as everyone else it will no doubt prove popular.