European consumers will soon have another reason to purchase 3D televisions for their homes. Sky, a broadcaster of TV programming in the UK, has announced the launch date of Europe’s first 3D channel.
Sky 3D will begin their first home broadcasts across the continent on October 1st. It will be available at no extra charge to Sky+HD customers who own a 3D-ready TV.
“As with High Definition, 3D is set to transform the way TV is enjoyed in homes nationwide. Following hot on the heels of the success of 3D cinema, Sky customers will now be the first anywhere in Europe to experience 3D TV from the comfort of their living rooms. They can look forward to a fantastic mix of live sport, blockbuster movies, and innovative entertainment and arts shows,” Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch stated in the company’s press release about the launch.
Sky has reportedly already negotiated deals with Disney, Fox, Universal, Warner Brothers, Paramount and DreamWorks to set up 3D movie programming for the service. They have secured both Bolt and Monster vs. Aliens for the weekend of the launch.
Live sporting events will also make up a large portion of Sky 3D’s schedule. The company has already obtained broadcasting rights for golf’s Ryder Cup event, as well as Premier League football games.
Sky 3D began broadcasting sporting events in pubs across the UK and Ireland on April 3rd. The company purchased 15,000 LG 3D televisions for the pubs to help promote use of the new service. Reviews from pub customers who have experienced viewing a 3D football match have written mixed reviews.
The wider availability of 3D programming that Sky 3D will provide may help boost lagging 3D TV sales in Europe, since consumers commonly cited lack of content as their major criticism of the product.
Here in the States, critics have complained about the widely varying quality of 3D programming offered by DirecTV.
Though the prices of 3D HDTVs are beginning to drop, there still exists the issue of having to wear special glasses in order to view content in 3D. The expense of purchasing enough glasses for the entire family to view 3D programming may be a big turnoff for some, including myself. Still, it’s cool that the service exists, and it I had a large disposable income I’d probably take advantage of it and invest the money to have it in my home. I’m anxious to see how many European households choose to do so.