back to article Channel 4 to go 3D

Not to be outdone by Sky, Channel 4 has broadcast plans for a week-long series of 3D TV programmes. Instead of broadcasting everything from John Snow’s news announcements to Hollyoaks re-runs in 3D, Channel 4 will only air selected shows in three dimensions. For example, several movies and a Darren Brown magic hour - 3D Magic …


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  1. Gordon is not a Moron


    "Specs will be punted out free-of-charge through supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, with the first 3D programmes set to be shown this autumn"

    So not in time for 3D - Chuck this Tuesday

  2. Jimmy Floyd


    Would someone with an understanding of the matter like to explain how one broadcasts in 3D when the original format was only 2D? Some creation of information must be going on here, surely?

  3. Jess
    Thumb Down

    How retro

    different coloured filters for each eye.

    I tried watching the 3d version of journey to the centre of the earth round a friends house, it was absolutely abysmal. We gave up and tried watching on my LCD and the 3D actually worked to some extent, how ever after about 40 minutes our eyes hurt too much and we put on the normal version.

    It took over a day for my eyes to stop hurting.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    amber / blue glasses

    Nope, I want the polarised type that you get at the cinema. Anything that uses colour filtering with cellophane glasses is very old hat.

    Very very very very old hat, in 3D.

    I'd like to be wrong in this matter though.

  5. Chronos


    ...the couple of hundred people who still watch C4 (only those who aren't sick unto DEATH of Big sodding Brother and the people who insist on enthusing about it, even when you have expressed your willingness to gouge your eyes out with a used, unwashed mustard spoon before watching dross like that and already stopped listening an æon ago) will be suffering from migraines all winter.

    You know I'm right...

  6. Ebeneezer Wanktrollop

    Sky - meh!

    'by Sky, which has inked plans to launch a subscription-based TV channel dedicated entirely to 3D programming'

    Sky? Charging for yet another boring, shitty, advert infested channel? What this time? Reality Transexual Eccles Cake Makers in 3D Tropical Island Swap with RAF Top Brass Lingerie Lieutenants?

    Arse. Move on. Nothing in any dimension to see here.

  7. Sooty

    Is this the same as Chuck?

    I got that off the net when first broadcast in america, and it seems to use a different system for it's 3d to everything else available, apart from the superbowl :)

  8. Mage Silver badge


    It's absolutely NOT 3D, none of it.

    It's Stereoscopic. Even the Victorians knew that. It doesn't even work very well if you have a dominant eye. Stereoscopic "3D effect" is very poor compared to real 3D and doesn't work for 1/5th of the population.

    The LCD shutter version using 100Hz screen and thus 50Hz per eye works for more people, and is less headache inducing plus better colour.

    The Coloured / filter Glasses was a failure in 1950s cinema and is nothing more than a novelty.

  9. Mike 61


    Not the filtered specs. That is no way to do 3D. To get it right you need either the polarizing lenses (not do-able in home setting) or the frame flipper glasses with a set top decoder. anything else is just sooo 1950's.

  10. Paul 25
    Thumb Up


    With moving footage, rather than still images, it is possible to build up a depth model of the footage based on the way objects move in the field of view.

    You can also to analysis of the images and glean a certain amount of depth information based on shadow and texture.

    Modern image analysis is actually more advanced than many people realise.

    This is one of those areas where CSI is not quite so far-fetched. The main difference is that it normally takes some pretty impressive computer grunt to process and quite a bit of time, rather than the few key-presses and a five second process time for the boys at CSI.

    With the 1953 footage of the queen it is entirely possible that this was originally shot in 3D (hence the "rare" comment). There have been 3D systems kicking around for quite some time. Before the coloured glasses systems were invented there were viewer based systems where you looked into something akin to a pair of binoculars and the two sets of footage were fed to each eye. If this is the case, it would just be necessary to convert it to the amber/blue system, which should be pretty straight-forward.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Chuck in 3D

    Now a 3D Sarah Walker would be worth the headache...

    Although our Sarah would of course be better :o)

  12. nowster


    ITV did this in the early 1980s. I remember the cardboard 3D glasses given away in the TV Times, and Michael Rodd introducing the programmes -- mainly 1950s feature films.

  13. Patrick 14

    WTF what happened to ALL channels going HD, My TV is ready

    I just want more HD crap for my Large TV I was conned into buy as I wanted HD tv shows from every channel but now its 3D, is that for some reason cheaper to make than HD.

    I have sky+HD and want something but fucking football to watch on it.

    What a bloody joke.

    And the Chuck glasses are on tv and sat at £1.20 a copy and out now.

    Also Virgin one's website was posting out for free. So i have two pairs LOL

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Recipe for eyestrain...

    Old technology and - as someone has already pointed out, not even 3D. Just an eye-straining effort to watch an artificial stereoscopic effect that won't make bad programmes any more worth watching and won't add anything to a good programme.

    A few decent programmes and far less American rubbish might be a better approach...

  15. Dave Bell

    One eye?

    Which lens do I use to get ordinary 2D?

    My eyes are very different, I need spectacles to even get a chance of 3D, and I've not yet seen a set of 3D specs which work well with a corrective set.

  16. The Indomitable Gall

    3D TV is stuffed

    Problem is, there's no such thing as "a TV" any more.

    Your CRT is interlaced. True interlacing, where a pixel's a pixel's a pixel.

    If you try using polarised light or shutter-lenses, you've got to think about Plasmas and LCDs and persistence of colour output and variable refresh-rates and rescaling and and and...

    Sadly, colour filter is the only truly "portable" standard.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Somehow this topic reminds me of...

    Stereoscopic crosseyed 3d porn. Which is very good in still images; possibly impossible to implement in video though I'd imagine, due to the difficulty in keeping the eyes unfocussed while tracking a moving image.

  18. Green Lantern

    Get Real

    For home 3D you need active specs (LC shutters). Make them light and in multiple sizes/styles - particularly child-sizes. Make another set to fit over peoples glasses. Work over a industry standard for these specs to pick up the synchronization.

    If you cannot make these at a price point the market can take, forget it until you can.

  19. Anonymous Coward


    I thought the polarising lenses3d that every disney film is in now qorked because they used two cameras one at an angle and showed both images together.

    How can they turn the 2D to 3D

  20. Cliff

    Coloured lenses

    Coloured lenses is just about the only way this can be done without replacing every TV.

    The Beeb did a 3D week many many (like 20?) years ago with the different neutral density filter glasses, which work on the theory that the slightly darker eye serves a subtly delayed signal to the brain, and only worked with (if I recall correctly) left to right moving action (but was otherwise normal viewing). They even shot a Dr Who episode to take advantage of it.

    Prismatic screens have very few and very distinct layers, and a smallish 'sweet spot' - that said I saw them in action just playing adverts in a Bangkok shopping centre 4-5 years ago, each set had a gathering of men (the women seemed unimpressed?! Why? It's a miracle!) just staring at those adverts. I'm gobsmacked we haven't seen them playing ads in UK shopping centres.

    The LCD shuttering method is horrible, and requires the glasses to be synchronised to the vertical interval on the TV scan. If it's off-perfect, it's instant headache, and the glasses are not freebieable.

    The best available that I've seen is the polarising lenses, which requires special projection, but has natural colours. It's excellent, but won't work at home on a regular set.

    As for the Queen's Coronation, I've seen it. It was shot 3D, but there was a slight skew on one of the 35mm cameras used, so before the processing power caught up, the prints were unusable for 3D (but you'll recognise most of the shots from 2D playbacks anyway). Whereas the vogue for 3D now is for things to pop out of the screen, the coronation was shot so it appears as if you're watching through a window. The lovely guys from Axis at Concrete (Dean St) did the corrections on it, I believe. If you want to shoot for 3D, talk to those guys, very very helpful.

  21. LeBeourfCurtaine


    ...didn't Channel 4 broadcast in 3D when they started up? The recollection is a bit fuzzy as I was still in single figures at the time.

  22. dezzer
    Thumb Down

    Who is Darren Brown?

    I've never heard of this person before?

  23. Darkwolf

    RE:Jimmy Floyd

    You said:

    "Would someone with an understanding of the matter like to explain how one broadcasts in 3D when the original format was only 2D? Some creation of information must be going on here, surely?"

    Someone must be running the signals through this unit:

    or using this software:

  24. Mike

    SKy = New TV

    I love the fact that the Sky 3D solution only requires you to replace every TV in the house you want to watch 3D-TV on with an as-yet-commercially-unavailable 3D version. Great economic climate to launch that particular solution in, Murdoch. Yep, can't see any problems with that.

    Bye bye Sky, you bunch of muppets.

  25. Rob Beard
    Thumb Up

    Chuck 3D glasses


    The Chuck 3D glasses can also be used for the Monsters vs Aliens movie in 3D, although I couldn't find anywhere locally which was broadcasting it in 3D, seemed like only BIG cities had it.

    Still for those who are after the 3D glasses, TV & Satellite Week has them on this weeks issue. Only one pair by the looks of things mind. Only £1.20 and available in WH Smiths although soon gets expensive if you need to buy multiple pairs. To think, I paid about £3 for about 8 pairs delivered from the states when they had Chuck on in 3D.

    Oh, sounds like this stuff on Channel 4 ( is also in the same 3D which Chuck was filmed in, not that it's very comfortable to wear the glasses when you have to wear glasses to watch TV anyway (unless Specsavers start doing perscription 3D glasses).

    Guess I'll have to go to Specsavers and get some contact lenses.


  26. jai

    so much failsauce

    the polorized ones they have at the cinema are the only ones that work for me - one of my eyes doesn't focus, so the two colour specs don't work for me

    i'm not totally sure how the cinema ones do work, but i certainly get a 3D impression - perhaps not as much as normal people - but it's better than just seeing everything in green.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Aw cock!

    I just spent money on some ColorCode 3D glasses to watch an episode of Chuck in 3D, and now I find they're going to be giving them away!

    But I also bought 3 other types of coloured 3D glasses because nobody can decide which 'rose tinted' glasses are best for 3D - the unfortunate answer is that they all look cack, the only decent type are polarized (requiring 2 projectors each with polarized lenses), or LCD glasses with individual control of each screen.

  28. Green Lantern

    Road-map to Home 3D

    Cliff - LC shuttering is the only way you will get good 3D in the home - currently at least. It's true that you will need a display capable of sharply presenting the alternate images, plus accurate syn-ing. LCD displays are perfectly capable of this - given the right driving electronics. Getting the syn to the glasses is not beyond the wit of man either - IR LED in the TV unit, sensor on the glasses.

    So, you need the TV to be 3D-ready and the shutter-specs neatly implimented, plus DVD/DVB/Blu-ray support... Can't see it happening soon.

  29. 2FishInATank

    Hold on.....

    Wasn't the Golgafrincham 'B' Ark filled with Management Consultants, Telephone Sanitisers and Tri-D* TV Producers?

    All this has happened before....

    * - IIRC, in some incarnations of HHGTTG 'Tri-D' is mis-typed as 'tired' and was kept because it seemed appropriate....

  30. Quirkafleeg

    Re: Hold on.....

    "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe" (1st ed.) has "tired TV producers".

  31. This post has been deleted by its author

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    3D Time Team!

    As the only "real" programme on C4 that gets any decent viewing ratings surely 3D Time Team would be the most successful collaboration.

    That way you will get most benefit from when the camera man slips in cheeky bosom and cleavage shots of the female archaeologist!??

    of course the downside, is you might get dust in your eyes?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    another Sainsbury's exclusive

    WTF do these companies go for Sainburies?????

    They're not nationwide - the nearest one to me is over 30 miles away and the one after that is another 30 miles away.

    Like comic relief, they're going to lose out on a big part of the market if they stick with this bunch of losers (helping the entire UK with their BBQs my a**e)

  34. brakepad

    Does anyone remember Magic Carpet?

    Never seen it before or since, but Magic Carpet on the PC had a 'dynamic' Magic Eye 3D mode where you could (try to) play the game by staring cross-eyed at a mass of moving swirly patterns.

    The 3D effect worked about as well as any static Magic Eye pic, but made playing the game absolutely impossible and was entertaining for about 4 seconds. It also had a coloured lenses 3D mode but my PC wasn't fast enough to run that....

    The BBC also did a 3D week, maybe 20 years ago now, where the glasses simply used one clear lens and one tinted one. The effect only worked on shots panning in one direction, and was something to do with dark images taking slightly longer for the brain to process hence the parallax in the footage led to a mild 3D effect.

    I can see a future where there'll be 4 different sets of 3D specs technology lined up next to all the remote controls.

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