3ality Digital to Support the Launch of Sky's Groundbreaking 3D TV Services

Industry Leaders Team Up for Pioneering Broadcast Initiative

Jan 14, 2010, 00:01 ET from 3ality Digital

LONDON and BURBANK, Calif., Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- BSkyB (Sky), the UK's leading entertainment and communications company, and 3ality Digital, LLC (www.3alitydigital.com), the world's premier provider of 3D technology, have announced they are to collaborate on the launch of what will become the first 3D TV services in the UK and Ireland.  Launching in 2010, Sky's 3D TV services will use 3ality Digital's state-of-the-art camera rigs and image processors to capture much of the programming it plans to broadcast.

Sky's 3D TV service will be broadcast across Sky's existing High Definition (HD) infrastructure and be available via the current generation of Sky+HD set-top boxes.  1.6 million homes are already equipped with Sky+HD.  To watch 3D content, Sky+HD customers are only required to upgrade to a 3D-enabled television set, a wide range of which will begin to be retailed in 2010.

"The launch of Sky's 3D TV services this year will mark a milestone in British broadcasting, giving customers a whole new dimension to their TV viewing experience," said Brian Lenz, Sky's Director of Product Design and TV Product Development.  "Utilizing 3ality Digital's technology and equipment will be a key component in providing our customers with a cutting edge entertainment experience."

"Sky is leading the way in its commitment to offering the next generation of television," said Steve Schklair, CEO of 3ality Digital Systems, the technology and production arm of 3ality Digital, LLC. "The success of its 3D broadcasting initiative is critical to the industry.  We are proud that Sky has selected 3ality Digital as the camera and image processing systems supporting its launch."

"We're proud to collaborate with Sky as the company works to deliver on its commitment to pioneer 3D broadcasting," said 3ality Digital, LLC CEO Sandy Climan. "Our state-of-the-art automation processes and the full metadata capture built into our camera platforms will ensure Sky 3D programming is compelling, immersive and dynamic."

The agreement with Sky represents the latest in a long line of broadcast firsts for 3ality Digital. In the past 13 months alone, 3ality Digital technology powered the first-ever live 3D broadcast of an NFL game and the first live 3D sports broadcast available to consumers.

During the same period, the company also shot the live-action footage for the first 3D commercial broadcast on television, as well as the first episode of a scripted television series shot in digital live-action 3D.

Sky's 3D TV service will provide its customers with a comprehensive mix of programming, spanning sports, movies, entertainment, documentaries and the arts, including live content.

"3ality Digital has always felt that it was essential to develop tools that integrate seamlessly into a standard 2D production environment, and enable the capture of professional quality live-action 3D with minimal impact on workflow," said Howard Postley, COO/CTO of 3ality Digital Systems.  "Sky put these tools through a rigorous testing process, and we are delighted that we met its expectations."

3ality Digital began making its automated 3flex™ camera rigs available for sale in April, 2009 as part of the company's continuing effort to expand the creation and distribution of  live-action 3D entertainment. Developed using proprietary intellectual property, the rigs are manufactured to aerospace-level precision. When used with 3ality Digital's rig software controller (SPC) and Stereo Image Processing Systems (SIPS), the 3flex rigs allow operators to capture nearly pixel-perfect live-action 3D footage.

3flex camera systems use sophisticated artificial intelligence to sense the environment and ensure the highest image quality. The systems feature semi-automatic setup and alignment, as well as full 3D metadata output.

About 3ality Digital

3ality Digital develops enabling technologies to power live-action 3D entertainment from image capture through broadcast, independent of viewing environment.  3ality Digital's camera platforms, stereo image processing systems, and 3D image scaling technologies are quickly earning a reputation as the "gold standard" for the emerging medium, and are rapidly being adopted by broadcasters, production companies, studios and consumer electronics manufacturers.

3ality Digital technology has powered  a number of live-action firsts, including U2 3D, the first movie shot completely in digital live-action 3D; the first live 3D broadcast of an NFL game (Raiders vs. Chargers, Dec. 4th, 2008); the first live 3D sports broadcast available to consumers (BCS Championship, Jan. 8th, 2009); the first 3D commercial broadcast on television (Sobe "Lizard Lake"); and the first episode of a scripted television series shot in digital live-action 3D (Chuck vs. The Third Dimension, aired on NBC on Feb. 2, 2009).  For more information, please visit the company's website at www.3alitydigital.com.

About Sky

Sky operates the most comprehensive multichannel, multi-platform television service in the UK and Ireland.  Over 9.5 million homes enjoy an unprecedented choice of movies, news, entertainment and sports channels.  Sky continues to break new ground with its own portfolio of channels: Sky1 combines its commitment to UK production with the best of the US; Sky Arts continues to embrace new audiences as the UK's only dedicated arts channel brand; Sky Sports is still raising the bar in sports broadcasting; and Sky News remains a pioneer in multiplatform television news.  

Almost 6 million Sky homes now enjoy the control and flexibility of Sky+ and 1.6 million homes have already joined Sky+HD, which provides access to 37 dedicated HD channels.   Sky is also the UK's fastest growing broadband and fixed-telephony provider.

SOURCE 3ality Digital