back to article Sky demonstrates 3D telly vision

BSkyB yesterday demonstrated 3D broadcasts using an ordinary Sky+HD box and a TV made by Hyundai. Viewers will need to wear special glasses and Sky made clear it was not planning a product launch. The demo included clips of a Ricky Hatton fight, football and rugby clips. The boxing was most impressive, although the glasses …


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  1. Steve Swann


    3D glasses? Polarising? Would that be with one blue and one red lens?

    Hardly new tech then....

  2. Iain

    Never work

    Until we lose the glasses 3d tech will never take off. It only worked in the 50s because it was a gimmick and cutting edge. Now it is neither. Predict Fail

  3. Richard

    3D TV

    3D TV is an abomination against Nuggan! I won't have it in my home!

  4. Dan
    Thumb Down

    Not interested.

    I’m usually one of the first to jump on new technology band wagons. But not this time. I’m sure opticians will sell filters for my glasses so I’m not wearing two pairs. But it still seems a little pointless unless you have a massive screen.

    Now could the boffins kindly stop wasting their time on this and get back to inventing holodecks, Better than Life, or the Matrix.

  5. Joe K

    Already here

    The Zalman M220W and Hyundai W220S are 3D PC monitors that need the polorised glasses, but work with a whole lotta games.

  6. Andrew Moore


    Why didn't they use a Percieva or similar- There's a lot of new 3d viewer tech that does not require the stereoscopic glasses.

  7. Random Noise
    Dead Vulture


    >3D is slated to hit cinemas next year

    Wow, what is this new technology with 3 dimensions? I've never heard of this before.

    Doesn't it sound wonderful?


  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Oh no! We've got fewer customers!"

    "Lets ignore one of the greatest emerging markets and concentrate on showing crap films badly!"

    Also, "3D is slated to hit cinemas next year"? Wasn't Journey To The Center of the Earth 3D in 3D? Or Beowulf?

    3D rocks.

  9. censored

    Don't be silly...

    Who is their right mind is going to relax in the evening, watching telly with a pair of 3D glasses on?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    3D glasses?

    I remember those from the early nineties... they were free with the telly guide I think.

    Used in such masterpieces as 'children in need'

    All the fashion for a while, but I guess the coloured-lenses-in-cardboard look was doomed. I guess fashion really does go in circles.

    Are 3D glasses the new black?

    Does Paris intend to re-shoot 'one night in...' in 3D?

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Random Noise

    >Wow, what is this new technology with 3 dimensions? I've never heard of this before.

    I'm sure you have it's called Theatre. Very lifelike, you'd almost believe the people were in the same room as you.

    /Blatently obvious mode off :)

    Mines the one given to me instead of a fee for my last bit part in a big production with the logo embroidered across the back so I look important

    (Luuvies don't bother replying you now it's true you'll do anything for embroidered jackets)

  12. Torben Mogensen

    @Steve & Iain

    Steve: Polarizing glasses are not red/green, they are (mostly) colourless but let only light with one polarisation pass. The idea is that left-eye images are shown with vertical polarisation and right-eye images are shown with horisontal polarisation, and the glasses will allow only these polarisations to the eye.

    This allows colour images in 3D, unlike the red/green glasses that allow only monochrome images.

    But I quite agree with Iain that it will never succeed as long as you need special glasses and need to sit directly in front of the screen (these images don't typically work well if you sit at an angle towards the screen).

    Here is how I can see a 3D display working:

    Place a transparent LED screen so it can rotate rapidly around its vertical axis. As the screen rotates, light up the LEDs that show the part of the picture that corresponds to the place of the pixel in space.

    This allows a wide viewing angle (360 degrees) without glasses, but with the disadvantage that objects are transparent. You can fix that by not lighting up the LED pixel if it would not be visible, but this is dependent on angle, so we lose the wide viewing angle.

  13. Sooty

    I remember the BBC

    Doing a 3D TV weekend years ago (15-20?). They released polarised (dark and light?) glasses in tv guides, cereal boxes, all sorts for a month or so before. and broadcast every program in some form of 3d

    All of the programs were perfectly normal without the glasses, and had all sorts of 3d bits with them. It wasn't full 3D, but, from what i remember, it was impressive*.

    *a disclaimer, this was before 3d comuter games so it might not actually have been that impressive.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    @Steve Swann

    No, for the ones in current cinemas, the glasses look like normal sunglasses. They use circular polarisation but with different rotations. The projector then a filter over the it which changes the polarisation for each frame, left eye one way, right eye the other. This means than you can still tilt your head without messing up the 3D effect, and only uses 1 projector. Most likely a TV based thing which requires glasses and uses polarisation would work in the same way.

    I saw it a while back with the Beowulf 3D film - pretty good, once you switch off to thinking about the fact it is 3D and just accept it.

    I think the system I watched was called RealD (

  15. Nano nano

    They could try ...

    to transmit those "Magic Eye" speckly pictures - picture detail a bit lacking but they would be 3D ...

  16. Anonymous Coward


    I saw Superman at the IMAX in Waterloo, which had a few 3d scenes (they use polarising glasses at the IMAX). They were just a gimic and added nothing to the story, if anything they were a distraction. Beowulf wasn't up to much in any dimension...

    Mines the one with the neural interface in the pocket

  17. Paul Murphy
    Paris Hilton

    I really can't see the point.

    No, that's not a clever play on words or anything.

    What is the point of 3D? it's not going to make a difference to the program, storyline or anything like that, and aside from feeling a little more immersed in the picture I can't see why people would want to spend any money whatsoever on it.

    Even given a 'proper' 3D display (such as Princess Leia from R2D2's head) what real value is added?

    I suspect that the only subject matter that it would be worthwhile (and where people wouldn't mind wearing glasses) would be on the adult channels.

    PH for obvious reasons.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    3D Delivery...

    Relies on different images to each eye.. soooo either you need a true 3D Display (which is the ultimate goal) or some method of providing two independant 2D images to each eye - synthetic 3D. either stereo screens at the eyes (in head-wear) or a single screen displaying two images and filters at the eyes (again in head-wear).

    The two best single screen techniques are polorised images (passive glasses - would contacts stay the right way?) and interlaced (active glasses) where the images alternate and LCD glasses alternate at the same frequency (anyone remember the Directx Elsa system? that was pretty good.)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The light and dark lens thing worked as the image rotated on screen. Something to do with moving objects and how your brain perceives distance at different brightnesses.

    Still, what about the poor folk, like my sister, who have sight in only one eye. All these films they have to pay extra to see but no extra effect for them.

    And what about the scenes in films shown from point of view of a person. If you are not sitting dead centre of the screen, it wont work too well.

  20. andy gibson

    Wild Palms

    Anyone remember Wild Palms - the futuristic follow up to "Twin Peaks"? There was some pretty cool 3D in that.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    3D cinema???

    Let's see... Jaws 3D

    That's how old 3D cinema is

  22. Mark Boothroyd Silver badge

    @Paul Murphy - I really can't see the point.

    Quote: 'What is the point of 3D? it's not going to make a difference to the program, storyline or anything like that, and aside from feeling a little more immersed in the picture I can't see why people would want to spend any money whatsoever on it.'

    I suspect that people probably said exactly the same thing when sound was first introduced to moving pictures, or when colour started to replace black and white. Both would have been seen simply as gimmick at the time, not really adding much to the experience, as they too wouldn't have changed the existing story lines.

    But once the techs matured, movies were created differently, storylines and screen play writtem to take better advantage of the new features. In 10 years or so movies will be out that just wouldn't work in 2D, creative people will pick up on the new possibilities, and in 20-30 years time people will look back at 2D movies and TV, in the same way we look back now on silent or black and white movies.

  23. Kane Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Polarised Glasses

    Didn't they use these in the late 80's for a full length feature film cartoon thingy called Starchaser: the Legend Of Orin? I remember going to see it as a child in full 3D, I'm sure of it. I also remember being extremely dissapointed that it wasn't in 3D when it came out on VHS the following year...

    Or am I imagining things?

  24. Jeff

    @Mark Boothroyd

    Well said.

    While I wouldn't jump straight in to invest in the technology, I think it will be great for TV. I can just imagine watching the World Cup in 3D. Might make me feel like I'm there!

  25. Will

    You don't need 3D glasses!

    Maybe it's a niche thing, but there have been autostereoscopic displays out for years that don't require you to be wearing any glasses. I worked with one 6 years ago, DTI3D have a whole range of them. Sky would be better off trying to push this technology rather than pushing their current lack of technology.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Image problem

    The trouble is those nasty cheap cardboard glasses - far too nerdy.

    If this is to succeed, they'll need to design some cool specs that cost upwards of 150 quid, and that you can play games on and download ringtones to.

    Come to think of it, what about adding pop-up 3D specs to phones? I find most phones are still a bit short on features, what with not being able to tumble dry your washing or mow your lawn yet, so this could be the new must-have for those who replace their phones every 6 months.

  27. Justin Case
    Jobs Halo

    iSpex3D will do it

    Apple iSpex3D. Make them only available to subscribers to Virgin Media. The Apple branding will make them a must-have for all the fanbois or Mactards. Can't see how it will phail.

  28. Toastan Buttar

    Honey, I Shrunk The Audience

    This attraction at Disneyland Paris is totally mind-blowing with the 3D effects. It uses the polarised glasses trick. Oh, and the ISS presentation in 3D at the IMAX was a lot of fun, too. Trouble is, you really need a theatre-sized screen to get the best effect from this system.

    Scientist wearing 3D X-Ray Specs.

  29. steogede

    Done before, years ago

    This was done years ago by the BBC for one or two shows for a telephon special (probably Children in Need, but may have been Comic Relief). I have a memory that it was Doctor Who and Eastenders, in fact, I seem to recall that it was special Doctor meets Eastenders show.

    After a bit of Googling it appears I remembered correctly and it was a whole 15 years ago - if Wikipedia is to be believed - I don't know if there are different technical challenges getting this to work on TFT screens.

    As for 3D cinemas, Beowulf did it last year, polarised 3D project technology is available in quite a few non IMAX cinemas these days.

    As for Will's post, autostereoscopic is all well and good if you are sat at the right viewing angle, might be okay for a monitor or maybe even some cinemas, but it isn't much use for a family TV in a typical living room.

  30. TimM

    Polarised vs the Beeb's effort

    Polarised lenses aren't the coloured ones. They are different polarisations in each lens to get a different image.

    The Beeb's effort in the 90s (Children In Need night, with the wonders of Eastenders and Doctor Who in 3D!), was based on a 2D image and the fact different coloured filters cause a slight delay in the image getting to the brain.

    Combine that with some rotating camerawork and you get a 3D "effect" in the brain's interpretation of the image.

    Fascinating novelty, but nothing more than that. The only films you could make with it, would get very dizzing.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Beeb's 3d and Lord of the Rings

    Anyone who still has the glasses from the Children in Need 3d experiment should try them out when watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The first film, in particular, showed P.Jackson's penchant for spinning aerial shots and these work brilliantly with the glasses. You have to reverse the glasses depending on the direction of the panning though - it'll be pretty obvious if you get it wrong!

  32. OrsonX

    3D Migraine

    I watched the ISS 3D movie at NASA using polarizing specs. Pretty cool effect, but mashed my head big time after just 20min, can't say I fancy feature film length brain mashing.

  33. Charles Silver badge

    @TimM and AC

    What you two are describing is known as the Pulfrich Effect. You can look up the name to learn more about it.

  34. The Mighty Spang

    epic fail

    for what display is the stereography optimized? If its for a normal sized telly, it isn't going to work with something like my projector (120" widescreen thank you v much)

    problem is the distance between the two colours (or different polarised images or whatever) that the brain can see as one item. Like following your finger till it touches your nose, at one point the stereo vision breaks down and you can see two fingers.

    whats right for a normal telly wont work on larger screens (which is the right environment for this type of experience)

    also people have different inter-ocular distances which can affect that stereo breaking down distance. mine is quite low so even for things like imax 3d if anything gets too close i just see two images.

    i wrote some code many moons ago doing analglyph 3d and i added an eye-distance control, the only way of making the result acceptable to everybody.

  35. Francis Boyle

    So when will this episode

    be shown in Australia.

    I desperately need to know what it's like when a car runs out of juice. It's not like it's something I could visualise and of course I've never experienced it.

    That's what I love about Top Gear - it tells me the things I need to know to live in this puzzling world of ours.

  36. Matt

    you ar emissing the point...

    this won't be on all channels. you'll need to subscribe to the HD 'Mix' and then the new 3D 'mix' and pay rental on the galsses......

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