Sky launches 3D Football Channel (1 Viewer)


Founder of Hism
Jan 18, 2009
Fans fall for 3D football
Sky have taken football to another dimension with the launch of their new 3D channel.

Goals from Joe Cole and Didier Drogba had special significance in the Barclays Premier League title race on Saturday, with Chelsea's 2-1 win at Manchester United taking them two points clear at the top of the table, writes Claire Harmer.

Not only did those strikes take Chelsea a step closer to being crowned champions, they also were the first on the fledgeling Sky 3D channel.

With 1000 selected pubs up and down the country screening the match in the special format, supporters of both sides had the chance to watch the encounter in all its 3-dimensional glory.

In the Porter House Brewery pub in Covent Garden, less than five miles from Chelsea's Stamford Bridge ground, fans donned their plastic 3D glasses and were dazzled for 90 minutes with breath-taking football.

One spectator, Sam, 24, couldn't get over how much more involved he felt in the match: "It feels like I'm watching from the pitch, the players just jump out at you!" he exclaimed.

Another, Tom, 37, admitted he was sceptical about the new technology at first, but gushed after the Chelsea win: "I always thought 3D telly was a bit of a gimmick. Not now. I'll be the first in the queue to get one!"

Jeff, 58 said: "At one point I thought I could reach out and catch the ball. It really brings the fan that bit closer to the action. Great stuff!"

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Darren Long, head of operations at Sky, believes fans of the Barclays Premier League can lose themselves in the action more easily than ever before.

"Fans watching 3D will feel more engrossed in the match," he said. "They will be pulled in to events that they probably would have missed in 2D.

"You can start seeing other players, not just focus in on the one on the ball.

"The first difference I noticed the first time I saw it was the depth. With 3D you get a much better appreciation for the distances players have to cover and the angles they are working to.

"You can also see much more clearly how much ground defenders have to cover to catch up with an attacker."

The technology used to create the 3D images is very similar to that currently in operation in the film industry.

Specially adapted cameras mimic the way a pair of human eyes work, capturing the same object from two slightly different perspectives. This image is then merged to create one on the screen. By wearing special glasses, which filter the correct image to each eye, a sense of depth is created in the merged image.

Long is confident that the steps Sky have taken to develop the newest channel in their network will see them enjoy the same success that many 3D films have in the last couple of years.


"One of the most interesting things has been witnessing how 3D has captured people's imaginations - there is something about it that people seem to enjoy very much," he explained.

"It has taken 22 months to get to this point, and it's very exciting for us at Sky. In April 2008, we went to America and saw the first over-the-air transmission on to a domestic screen.

"We saw there was the potential for the Sky HD+ box to record this and play it back, and we came home and started a series of test screenings, the first of which being the Ricky Hatton fight in May 2008.

"The 3D cameras we have been using are quite large, and that has created its own challenges.

"We've been working on what is the best angle, trying to give the fan watching at home the same visual effects as someone who is sitting in the ground, with a few additions that you can't get with your own eyes, like zooming in or panning."

best angles

All in all, the advent of 3-dimensional broadcasting is set to give the football fan watching a match from the television a much improved viewing experience.

"Traditionally, when we have been broadcasting a Premier League game, we have 20 cameras around the ground, but with 3D will only use six, allowing people the chance to look around the frame and take in all the extra information," Long revealed.

"With 3D, you can see things that you would normally have missed if you were watching in the flatter world of 2D. It is amazing what your eyes get drawn to - things you wouldn't normally see unless you were at the actual venue."

The new style broadcasting will also mean fewer aerial shots, and more close ups, giving the watching fan a greater sense of involvement.

"We are working with the Premier League at the moment to adjust where we position our cameras," he continued.

"Over the last 17 years, we have made very few alterations to how we present a match - we follow a safe formula, goal, replay, slow-mo.

"But now we need to ask the clubs for much lower angles. Like with your eyes, our 3D cameras flatten out if they record something from a distance. The effect works much better closer up.

"We've added the infrastructure to Premier League grounds to ensure we get the best angles possible, but also being careful not to restrict the sight lines of supporters in the ground."

The new 3D channel will be rolled out on a commercial basis first, and Sky hope it will be a success in the domestic market very soon, once specialist 3D televisions become more widely available. The broadcaster will screen a further five matches this season, one a week, with the fixtures yet to be confirmed.


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اختك يا زمن
Aug 5, 2006
Al-Jazeera will be implying this technology in the world cup too. It costs much for nothing if you ask me.

Ford Prefect

Senior Member
May 28, 2009
It would appear that this is going to be the race between HD and 3D, its a shame for 3D that HD won three years ago and no one is going to go out and spend £1000 on buying a new TV having just set up their house for HD. 3D will not show you anything different, it just retrofits 2D imaging, you wont see new angles or anything like that, tvs will just look like they are in braile.

I remain whole heartedly against 3D, it was a novelty in the 1950s and went to themeparks in the 90s, there is absolutely no reason for it to come back, other than the picture houses being delighted they have come up with a format that ensures you are forced to go into the cinemas.

fucking waste.

Ford Prefect

Senior Member
May 28, 2009
One of the biggest flaws i can see in it is that it will make televised football cinematic. The point of going to the pub to watch a match and chat with your mates and have a laugh (in Britain that is, i wouldnt know about the rest of the world). If you are going in there with a 3D presentation no one will talk, there will be no atmosphere which i would guess is about 70% of the reason you watch the game in a pub.

But you know what is in 3D? could just go to the fucking match and support your team, in 3D!!!!!!!!!


Founder of Hism
Jan 18, 2009
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter #12
    You walk in to a pub and you see a bunch of englishmen wearing the weird 3d glasses. That would look gay.

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