Digital TV Guides

3D TV packages

3D TV packages

Updated Monday 26 March 2012

By Garnet Roach - garnet@consumerchoices.co.uk

If you’re looking to take home entertainment to the next level, upgrading to a 3D TV package could completely change the way you watch television.

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In order to watch 3D TV at home, you’ll need a 3D ready TV, glasses and access to 3D content.

Video: Quick guide to 3D TV

Sky 3D TV

Sky offers a dedicated 3D channel - the imaginatively named Sky 3D. Unlike other Sky channels it doesn’t focus on one sole entertainment type - instead, it features a diverse range of TV, sport and movies, including nature shows, concerts, football, boxing, and more - all, of course, broadcast in eye-blistering 3D.

3D movies continue to be big business at the cinema, and Sky 3D is one of the few channels in the UK to broadcast films in this format. Just some of the blockbusters that the channel has shown include:

  • Avatar
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince
  • Coraline
  • My Bloody Valentine
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Sky 3D also features a wide selection of sport options. Premier League football matches are shown in 3D on the channel, as are selected Champions League matches. Other sports regularly feature too, including boxing, and rugby league.

To watch the new Sky 3D TV channel, you need to subscribe to the Sky World HD package, which gives you all six entertainment packs, as well as Sky Movies, Sky Sports and the HD pack.

Your Sky+HD box is already geared up for 3D TV, but you will still need a 3D ready television set as well as a pair of 3D glasses.

Sky content is compatible with both active and passive 3D glasses. Active glasses require batteries to “black out” each eye depending on whether the right or left image is being displayed on the screen.

Polarised, or “passive”, glasses do not require any batteries. Instead, the left lens filters out the right image while the right lens filters out the left image. These glasses work with a polarised 3D TV set.

Virgin Media 3D TV

Although cable TV provider Virgin Media (www.virginmedia.com) doesn’t currently have a dedicated 3D channel, it does offer a selection of on-demand 3D movies that are available to all customers.

Pay-per-view movies are available to rent for 48 hours. New 3D flicks are appearing all the time, with the latest releases typically costing £5.99.

In addition, subscribers to cable TV provider Virgin Media’s TV XL package can watch additional 3D content, such as ESPN Summer Games.

Getting to the 3D content on Virgin Media is easy. Once you’ve got your 3D-ready TV in place, you’ll just need to connect your V HD or V+HD box, don your glasses and access Virgin Media’s 3D On Demand service.

Like Sky, Virgin Media 3D TV is compatible with both active and passive 3D technology.

Setting up your 3D TV

No matter which 3D TV package you choose, you’ll need to hook your set-top box up to a 3D ready TV. 3D TVs can be bought from manufacturers including LG, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony, and you can get your hands on the latest models from most electronics retailers including John Lewis, Argos and Currys.

You’ll need to get the right pair of glasses to suit your 3D TV set, so check with your manufacturer whether or not you'll need active or passive glasses. But bear in mind that active glasses do cost more. Check our guide to 3D televisions for more information about the different types of 3D technology available.

Once you’ve got all the hardware you need, simply plug your 3D-compatible Sky or Virgin Media set-top box into your television to enjoy all the great new 3D content that’s now available.

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