Digital TV Guides

3D TV channels - what can I watch in 3D?

3D TV channels - what can I watch in 3D?

By Anthony Hill - anthony.hill@consumerchoices.co.uk

Updated: Monday 19 March, 2012

Want to experience the best of 3D cinema in your living room? Buy a 3D TV and join Sky or Virgin Media for access to 3D TV channels at home.

If you want television that makes you feel like you're really there, then 3D TV is probably the closest you're going to get. All you need is a 3D ready TV and a subscription to 3D channels. And whether it's an action movie or nature documentary, 3D puts you in the midst of the action.

It's certainly not cheap, but 3D goes beyond high-definition (HD) to add a whole new dimension to the TV experience. So what exactly can you watch in 3D? And who offers the best 3D channels? This guide explores your 3D TV options.


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Sky 3D TV channels

Sky (www.sky.co.uk) launched Europeís first dedicated 3D TV channel in October 2010, making 3D films, sports coverage and documentaries available to all Sky World subscribers with 3D TV equipment. Whether you already have a subscription to Sky or are looking to join the satellite TV giant, Skyís 3D channel will give you an array of 3D content.

  • 3D TV for existing Sky customers - Existing customers with a Sky+HD box are already well on their way to getting 3D TV at home. Simply invest in a 3D ready TV and upgrade to the Sky World HD package, if you havenít already got it, and youíll be able to watch the 3D channel without any extra monthly costs.

  • 3D TV for new Sky customers - If youíre a new customer looking to join Sky, to get the 3D content youíll need to subscribe to the Sky World package, the Sky HD pack and opt for a Sky+HD set-top box when signing up. Sky World HD subscriptions cost around £60 a month.

Skyís 3D TV channel has everything from top sporting events and blockbuster films to real-life documentaries and 3D concerts, making it the ideal choice for anyone looking for a comprehensive 3D TV package.


Virgin Media 3D TV channels

Virgin Media (www.virginmedia.com) has also jumped on the 3D TV bandwagon and now offers 3D films on-demand to all homes with a subscription to the TV XL package and a V+HD or V HD set-top box, as well as a 3D ready television.

  • 3D TV for existing Virgin Media customers - If you already have a subscription to the XL TV package, and either a V+HD or V HD set-top box, simply visit the FilmFlex menu from the Virgin Media electronic programme guide (EPG), and select the movie you want to watch

  • 3D TV for new Virgin Media customers - New customers looking to join Virgin Media for its 3D films need to subscribe to the XL TV package. This usually costs less than £30 a month when you take a Virgin Media cable phone line costing around £14 a month, though the provider often runs promotions to cut the cost. Youíll also need a Virgin Media HD set-top box and a 3D ready TV.

Once you have a V+HD or V HD set-top box, thereís no need to upgrade, and you donít have to pay for any extra channels - just pay for the films that you watch, when you want to watch them. 3D movies cost just a few pounds to rent for 24 hours.


BT Vision 3D TV channels

Like Virgin Media, BT also now offers on-demand 3D films - though it doesnít broadcast a dedicated 3D channel like Sky.

3D movies cost just a few pounds each to rent using BT Visionís on-demand service, and the films are available to all customers with a Vision+ set-top box. Again, you'll also need to have a 3D ready TV and glasses.


3D TVs and glasses

In order to watch 3D TV content from either Sky, Virgin Media or BT Vision, you will need a 3D ready TV. Manufacturers such as Sony, Panasonic and LG all offer 3D models, which range in price - anywhere from £400 to £10,000 - and can now be purchased from retailers such as John Lewis, Comet, Argos and Currys.

Youíll also need to wear 3D glasses, though the type you should buy will depend on the format of TV you get. There will almost always be several pairs supplied when you purchase a 3D TV. There are now even screens for which you don't need to wear glasses, but these will likely cost thousands rather than hundreds of pounds.

Always check out your options in store and speak to a salesperson about optimal viewing distances - you donít want to buy a TV that is either too big or too small for your room.


Should I get a 3D TV?

If youíre not yet ready to make the leap into 3D TV, you can still experience its wonder at more than 1,500 pubs and clubs around the UK and Ireland, courtesy of Skyís 3D TV channel.

You can find your nearest Sky 3D venue using the Sky pub finder - just visit www.sky.com. Keep checking back for details of forthcoming fixtures, and make sure you call your venue to check scheduling and reserve a seat if necessary.

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