Sky 3DTV - your questions answered

Sky is bringing 3DTV to the UK for the very first time this Sunday as a one off and then for good from April. We know you'll be able to get it if you have a Sky +HD box and it'll even be free if you happen to already have the top package but what about the rest of the details? We spoke to Sky who helped us fill in the blanks - as much as they could, of course.

Will the 3D channel be sports only? What other content will we find in it initially if not?

We will be making more announcements about other content over the coming months. At launch, the service we will offer our residential customers will include original, appointment to view 3D content each week across Sports, Movies, Arts, Music, Entertainment as well as pay per view movies and events.

Are there already plans for the launch of more 3D channels?

All we are announcing today is Europe’s first dedicated 3D TV channel showing a mix of programming genres. As more content becomes available, we may look to launch additional channels but it’s too early to say.

The 3D channel will initially be free to those subscribing to the top HD package. How long will this free period last and what kind of added subscription cost will customers be looking at once the tariff comes in?

The channel will initially be available at no extra cost to customers who take our top programming pack and our HD pack. As more content is available for the channel we may look to change the way we offer it to customers, but again it’s too early to say when or how much.

What date in April will the 3D channel be launching and what will be the first transmission?

We will have more announcements to make about exactly when in April the channel will be available in pubs. To be clear it’s for pubs in April and in people’s living rooms later this year.

Does Sky have any knowledge as to whether the V+HD box would be capable of receiving and decoding 3D images even if the channel was available? Essentially, is an HD box's technology the same required for 3D TV as well?

That’s a question for Virgin. (We are awaiting comment from Virgin Media)

Which 9 pubs will be showing the game on Sunday?

As you can imagine we don’t want details of the pubs appearing anywhere until after Sunday. We want to avoid over crowding and ensure regulars at each pub get to see the game.

Do people have to buy tickets at these pubs or can anyone show up?

It’s up to the pubs to market this to their customers. So they’ll be promoting it as they would any other event they hold in their venues.

Does Sky have any agreements currently with pub chains who will be installing the 3D systems? Can you tell us which they are?

We are in discussions with a number of pub chains, so it’s just a bit early give more details on this.

Will normal customers be able to receive the 3D channel from their own homes from April if, of course, they have their own 3D Ready TVs? If not, when will that be possible?

In April the 3D channel will be launching to hundreds of other pubs. The service will launch in consumer’s homes later this year.

Will Sky be helping customers make the switch to 3D TV by offering TV set upgrades as part of the satellite package or is there permission for retailers to bundle 3DTVs in with a 3D Sky subscription as well? Essentially, will Sky be helping out on the hardware front in any way or is it just a case of the consumer sorting it out for themselves?

Again we’ll have more announcements about our marketing plans over the coming months. But we don’t anticipate there will be a need to subsidise the cost of the TVs as our understanding is they’ll be priced competitively - you’ve probably gathered consumers will be looking at a £200 premium on the cost of an equivalent sized HD TV. It won’t just be Sky driving uptake of 3D TV - games consoles and DVD manufacturers will be too - the market will take care of itself.

As well as the one Premiership game each week, what are the next sport/s we will see introduced in 3D in the coming months? Have you trialled cricket or darts? They could be quite special.

We’re only announcing Premiership football today but we have already done experiments shooting Rugby and Golf which work really well in 3D. We’ll have more to say about other events over the coming months.

Will the new 3D channel be running 24/7 even if much of the content is repeated? If not, then will it just be one game a week from April until things get going? Is this part of the reason the channel will initially be free?

As the channel will initially offer a limited range of content, we will be offering it at no extra cost to customers who take our top package and the Sky HD pack. As demand increases and the availability of content increases we will change schedule accordingly.

Conclusions

So there you have it. Never quite as much info as you need but good to hear that 3D TVs should only cost approximately £200 more than their usual HD counterparts and that just because you're not on Sky, it doesn't mean you'll be frozen out. Looking forward to hearing what Virgin Media has to say about that one.

As for those nine elusive test pubs for this Sunday's game, well, let us know if it happens to be your local and I'm sure you'll get quite a few pints from your fellow PL readers.