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Info Skys first-ever live 3D transmission - 06-April-2009, 13:10

Skys first-ever live 3D transmission

Chris Forrester

There may not have been many 46 Hyundai 3D sets tuning in, nor many Sky+ HD set-top boxes where their owners were aware that the Sky 3D transmissions were taking place, but the 3D event went ahead and was judged a huge success. The web-cast 3D version was probably watched by tens of thousands (and is still available).

The broadcast was part of a 3D music event co-produced by Sky, specialist 3D production company Nineteen Fifteen Productions and Island Records to coincide with Keanes live performance that saw a 3D webcast of the gig via Keanes website.

Skys live 3D transmission took place at Londons Abbey Road studios as part of a three-screen 3D event that involved:

o Sky broadcasting a simulcast of Keanes live gig and transmitting it over a high definition satellite transponder and displaying the event on a 46 inch high definition 3D TV screen. The VIP audience were able to view the full live Sky transmission in the Abbey Road studio next door to the live gig.

o A separate 3D webcast over the internet using the traditional anaglyph (red/green) glasses was made available to Keane fans internationally.

o A live test broadcast via a satellite downlink to a Vue cinema kitted out with 3D equipment.

Using polarisation technology, this is the first time a live event has been broadcast to a domestic 3D TV screen in the UK. The content was delivered using Skys digital satellite broadcast platform and existing Sky+HD infrastructure (including cameras, transmission facilities and satellite uplink / downlink). Playback, via a Hyundai 3D Ready TV, was direct from a standard Sky+HD set-top box.

Sky again stressed the demo did not represent a launch, nor even a planned launch, given that theres much still to be done. However, Gerry OSullivan, Skys Director of Strategic Product Development, said: Being able to broadcast a live event in 3D is a real breakthrough as previous demonstrations have relied on recorded material. This is the first time weve broadcast a live event in 3D over satellite and it shows the significant progress were making with our research and development activity. The Keane event not only gave us new insight into our ability to deliver a rich and immersive live 3D experience into the home, but also confirmed that arts programming is another genre which has the potential to benefit from 3D.

We are continuing to talk to a range of different partners and content owners to find out how far we can take this technology and most importantly whether there is future consumer demand for 3D TV services.
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