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Review: Sky 3D

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Is the latest in living-room entertainment a gimmick or a go-er?

Let’s get this straight from the start; we’ve seen 3D before.

It isn’t anything new. I remember opening a packet of Frosties as a young lad in the early eighties and being mesmerised by the free anaglyph 3D (red and green) glasses that allowed me to see Tony the Tiger in another dimension. Heady days. Then followed a poor attempt at 3D in the cinema. Jaws 3D being a lowlight. Over the last year we’ve had pubs showing 3D football and Hollywood trying to recoup lost profits by showcasing blockbusters such as Avatar and Toy Story 3 in three dimensions. And with mixed reactions. Studies show that as many as one in ten people in the UK can’t see 3D properly, so why would Sky want to invest millions into getting this into people’s living rooms? Well, to be a market leader (Sky was also first with HD) but also to demonstrate that 3D is here to stay.

It’s not just about bullets flying out of the screen and fingers threatening to pick your nose; sports, nature and film all take on a new intensity and when combined with high-definition imagery, the depth of 3D can be mind-blowing.

It’s not just about bullets flying out of the screen and fingers threatening to pick your nose; sports, nature and film all take on a new intensity and when combined with high-definition imagery, the depth of 3D can be mind-blowing

3D Television Sets from £1500

Watching the recent Ryder cup in 3D really showed off course undulation and a sense of the distance and accuracy that golfers have to contend with. Tennis hit home the speed at which players have to react. Spiders and weird forest creatures creep out of your TV set (in my case, the 47-inch LG LX9900) and into your private living space. It’s exciting and disconcerting at the same time.

Sky 3D free with Sky World HD subscription

However, it’s not perfect. Moving images can sometimes seem blurry, your eyes can’t always focus on the foreground and background. Oh, and you look a right prat in those glasses. There’s no doubting that 3D in the home is a landmark technological event but until manufacturers create ‘lenticular’ TVs (those that don’t require glasses to see the 3D effect), prices come down (active glasses are around £100 a pair), the quality improves and more content is available, it’s an early-adopters product at best.

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