Digital TV Guides

3D TV box - choosing 3D ready hardware

3D TV box - choosing 3D ready hardware

By Becca Talbot - becca@consumerchoices.co.uk

Wednesday 15 December, 2010

If you want to watch 3D films like Avatar or 3D Premier League football fixtures at home, you’ll need to get a 3D ready TV and a compatible set-top box - we take a look at your 3D TV box options…

A step up from high-definition (HD) TV, watching sports, a movie or documentary in 3D will put you in the midst of the action, making you feel like you’re really there.

3D TV services are available from three of the UK’s biggest digital TV providers: Sky, Virgin Media and BT Vision. But to watch 3D content you’ll need a 3D ready TV and a set-top box that is 3D compatible. Choose from one of the options below:

Advertisement: Article continues below
Visit VirginMedia.co.uk
Virgin HD deal
of the month
FREE installation
+ FREE HD Box
Go
Visit Sky.com
FREE Sky+HD box
+ FREE standard set-up
+ FREE £25 M&S Voucher
+ over 50 HD channels
Go

Sky 3D TV set-top box

Sky (www.sky.co.uk) offers the UK’s only dedicated 3D TV channels, which broadcasts 3D films and documentaries, as well as 3D football fixtures. To get the 3D channel you must subscribe to Sky’s top package, the Sky World package, and take the HD viewing pack.

You will also have to get the Sky+HD set-top box. This box enables you to:

  • Watch 3D and HD content
  • Pause, rewind and record “live” TV, and forward through TV that has been recorded, letting you skip through the adverts
  • Record up to 185 hours of standard definition content or 60 hours of HD programming
  • Record whole series at the touch of a button with the “series link” feature
  • Set-up your box to record programmes remotely using your mobile phone or online
  • Access to HD films on Sky Anytime+ if you also take Sky broadband.

The Sky+HD set-top box is free to all new customers joining Sky who also take the HD pack. Or, if you’re an existing Sky customer looking to upgrade your set-top box, you must sign-up to a new 12-month contract to get the box, or pay a one-off fee of £199 (though special promotions may be available).

If you’re looking for the ultimate 3D package, then Sky’s 3D TV channel may be the best option for you - the channel has everything from top sporting events and blockbuster films to real-life documentaries and 3D concerts.

Virgin Media 3D TV set-top box

Though it doesn’t offer a dedicated 3D channel, Virgin Media (www.virginmedia.com) TV subscribers can watch 3D films on-demand. Homes with a subscription to the TV XL package and either a V+HD or V HD set-top box, as well as a 3D ready television, will be able to “rent” films for 24 hours from the FilmFlex menu from as little as £4.75.

Both of Virgin Media’s HD ready set-top boxes are 3D compatible, so simply choose the one that suits you:

V HD box V+HD box
  • Watch all the HD content available on Virgin Media, including programmes on the TV Choice and TV On Demand menus
  • Has the same HD and 3D functionality as the V HD box
  • Watch pay-per-view 3D films on-demand whenever you want
  • Pause, rewind and record “live” TV, and forward through TV that has been recorded, letting you skip through the adverts
  • Get access to the BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and catch-up TV from other selected channels.
  • Pause, rewind and record “live” TV, and forward through TV that has been recorded, letting you skip through the adverts
  • Record up to 80 hours of HD programming, or 160 hours of standard definition shows
  • Record whole series at the touch of a button with the “series link” feature.

Both boxes are free to new customers joining Virgin Media, though a one-off HD activation fee of £49 does apply. If you’re an existing customer looking to upgrade your standard V box, you’ll have to pay the £49 HD activation fee plus a one-off set-up charge to get either the V+HD or V HD box.

Once you have a V+HD or V HD set-top box, there’s no need to upgrade, and you don’t have to pay for any extra channels - just pay for the 3D films that you watch when you watch them, which cost from £4.75 per rental.

BT Vision 3D TV set-top

Like Virgin Media, BT doesn’t broadcast a dedicated 3D channel but offers on-demand 3D films. BT Vision (www.btvision.bt.com) has signed a deal with NBC Universal to show all of the 3D movies that the studio releases over the next 12 months, starting with Step Up 3D and Despicable Me.

BT doesn’t broadcast a dedicated 3D channel but offers on-demand 3D films

3D movies cost £5.99 to rent using BT Vision’s on-demand service, and the films are available to all customers with a Vision+ set-top box. The Vision+ set-top box enables users to:

  • Watch 3D and HD content
  • Access to thousands of hours of on-demand shows
  • Pause, rewind and record “live” TV, and forward through TV that has been recorded, letting you skip through the adverts
  • Record up to 80 hours of HD programming.

The Vision+ box is currently free to all BT customers who take out a 12-month subscription for a BT Vision viewing pack, or costs £90 to customers who already have the standard Vision box or who don’t want to take a monthly subscription.

Because BT Vision can only be watched if you have a subscription to BT Total Broadband, it is a good 3D TV option for existing BT customers who are looking for more than just Freeview.

3D TVs and glasses

To watch 3D TV from either Sky, Virgin Media or BT Vision, you will need a 3D ready TV. Big manufacturers such as Samsung, Panasonic and Sony all offer 3D sets, and prices start from around £800. 3D ready televisions can now be purchased from retailers such as John Lewis, Comet and Currys.

You’ll also need to wear 3D glasses, though the type you should buy will depend on the format of TV you get. Visit a retailer and ask for a demonstration of the different formats. And don’t forget to ask sales rep about optimum viewing distances - you don’t want to buy a TV that is either too big or too small for your front room.

We want your views, register and comment on this article

 Already Registered?
We will contact you if we can help with your issue, your number will not be given to any third party.
We would like to send you our newsletters with the latest deals, news and expert advice. If you do not want to receive these then simply untick this box. Please read our full privacy policy.

Terms and Conditions Apply

Comments

3Dsport how much? - Mar 12 2011 12:01AM
william curle, livingston

can i receive sport on 3D with virgin and how much will it cost per game per month? - Mar 11 2011 11:59PM
william curle, UK

Consumer choices
More sites
Get help
Handy guides
TV providers
Registered Address: Third Floor, High Holborn House, 52-54 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6RL Company Reg No:05341159
Copyright © 2006-2011 Digitalchoices.co.uk. All rights reserved. (v5.56)