Sky 3D: Coming to a Cinema Near You First?

Sky could launch its 3D hi-def service next year in cinemas while consumers catch up on buying new 3D TV screens. Sky is committed to launching the new service in 2010 but may have to take account of slow take-up of 3D screens, said Brian Sullivan, managing director of Sky's customer group.

"We will absolutely be launching a service in 2010 and that service will be fundamentally different from the services we offer today. We are building our capability and we will be showing our first end-to-end sporting events soon, but I would not be surprised if the service materialises first out of the home, because it's also a question of consumers changing to the new 3D screens."

Speaking at this year's IBC broadcast technology exhibition in Amsterdam, Brian said the 3D service will be based on the new Sky Guide rolled out to HD boxes this year (well, most of them so far). However, it will feature floating 3D menus, as demonstrated by NDS at the show, along with some natty designer-style 3D glasses.

He added: "At some point HD is going to be the minimum acceptable standard and 3D's going to be the cream on top of that. Our HD box we over-specced to an unbelievable degree because we do not want to go through another box replacement cycle. We can't!"

By Alex Lane, Wotsat