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Sky 3D channel launches – Which? takes a look

Golf's Ryder Cup kicks off Sky's residential 3D TV
Sky 3D - The Ryder Cup

The Ryder Cup was the first live 3D broadcast to domestic TVs in the UK

Sky today launched its 3D residential service on channel 217. Subscribers of Sky’s top HD package who own a 3D TV were able to tune in at 7am to watch golf’s Ryder Cup.

Unfortunately for Sky, the event was hampered by poor weather, and play had to be suspended due to waterlogging.

The poor weather illustrated two key issues that might have otherwise been missed, however. Firstly, while a rain drop on a regular video camera lens can be irritating, it’s worse when on one of the two lenses required for filming 3D, and it causes a smudging effect when watching the 3D channel that is difficult to ignore.

Sky 3D channel first look


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Lack of decent 3D content

Secondly, when cricket gets called off due to poor weather there is a wealth of archive footage that can be replayed; this isn’t the case with 3D. Instead, viewers were subjected to in-studio interviews filmed in 3D, which didn’t offer the wow factor many expect from 3D sport.

Which? was able to record some of the morning’s play before it was stopped, demonstrating the full functionality of the Sky HD box (pause, rewind and record). Unfortunately while these functions were present, accessing them was tricky as the on-screen menus couldn’t be read when our active shutter Panasonic VT20 3D TV was in its 3D mode.

Upon watching the recorded 3D golf one of our expert viewing panel members said: ‘The 3D effect on golf makes the course and its undulating greens look great, but the crowd and the players seemed a little too layered for my liking and I don’t feel the event is worth putting the glasses on for. On the other hand, I think bugs would look great in 3D’.

Sky’s forthcoming 3D schedule, including an insect documentary series beginning on 2 October, can be found on Sky’s website.

3D TV reviews

Sky’s 3D channel was the first UK 3D channel to launch, although Virgin Media launched an on-demand 3D movie service earlier this week.

The new 3D channel comes at no additional cost to subscribers on Sky’s top tier package, but a 3D TV is currently an expensive investment.

If you’re thinking of buying a 3D TV make sure you get the best. To do so, read our in-depth, lab-based 3D TV reviews.

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