Sky Airs 3D Keane Gig

Sky successfully broadcast the UK's first live 3D TV event to a domestic 3D TV set last night. The transmission, of a performance by the band Keane, used Sky's normal satellite network and existing Sky+HD set-top boxes. Sky co-produced the event with specialist 3D production company Nineteen Fifteen Productions and Island Records.

The broadcast used a high definition satellite transponder and displaying the event on a 46 inch high definition 3D TV screen. The content was delivered using Sky's 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.

A live test broadcast via a satellite downlink to a Vue cinema equipped for 3D presentation also took place, as did a separate 3D webcast using traditional red/green glasses.

Sky previously demonstrated its 3D technology in December 2008 using recorded material such as England vs. New Zealand rugby union Test match, Liverpool FC vs Marseille UEFA Champions League, Sky1's Gladiators and Ricky Hatton vs. Juan Lazcano boxing.

The satellite broadcaster is continuing to work with TV manufacturers, broadcasters, studios and other content owners to establish the potential for commercial 3D TV services.

"We’re excited to have worked with Keane and their innovative management team to explore how our 3D TV technology might be used to offer a totally new viewing experience for live and recorded music," said Gerry O'Sullivan, Sky's director of strategic product development.

"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 we’ve broadcast a live event in 3D over satellite and it shows the significant progress we’re 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."

By Chris Curtis, BroadcastNow