Advanced Television

Sky: UK, Germany and Italy commit to 3D

April 5, 2012

From Chris Forrester @ MIP

Over two intensive days at MIPtv which focused entirely on 3DTV, senior staff from BSkyB, Sky-Deutschland and Sky Italia, all confirmed their commitment to growing their investment in 3DTV.

John Cassy, BSkyB’s director of 3D said that while he could not be specific about numbers, he was already budgeting an increased spend in 2013 as part of Sky’s five-year plan for 3DTV. “All our viewer satisfaction rankings go through the roof for 3D,” he told delegates at MIPtv’s 3DTV Focus event in Cannes.

Much the same story came from Cosetta Lagani, Sky Italia’s head of 3DTV, who explained that the Italian channel, despite only launching on September 6 last year, had already achieved considerable success stories, helped by transmitting the final of (the Italian) X-Factor to huge viewer and critical awareness, as well as special live outside broadcasts such as the transmission of Aida (in partnership with Opera Verona). She told delegates that the planned 200 hours of Olympic Games coverage in 3D would only help this story, and that Sky Italia’s commitment to football, tennis, golf, rugby and other sports, would help continue the drive to greater 3D acceptance.

Stefan Heimbecher, head of innovation and standards at Sky Deutschland, also barely 18 months old “and counting,” said Heimbecher, would maintain its 3D commitment, especially now that greater distribution was coming from many of Germany’s cable distributors. Sky Germany would be airing the 2012 Golf Masters event this coming weekend in 3D, as well as the upcoming UEFA Champions League Final (from Munich) in May.

Heimbecher said that continued development of less-expensive camera rigs, as well as greater use of so-called 5-D production (using one camera position to generate both 3D and 2D images) was helping to keep production costs in check and to increase efficiencies as well as cut down set-up times. “We must get rid of the 3D production overhead in sport,” he said, “and reduce crew costs, production and other costs. It is happening, and we can see further savings being made in these areas. 3D-TV is here today, and to stay.”



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