Burbank, Calif.-based 3D specialist 3ality Digital will be collaborating with U.K. pay-TV operator BSkyB in launching a 3D HD service in the U.K. and Ireland later this year.
BSkyB will use 3ality Digital's specialized "3flex" camera rigs and image processors to produce much of the 3D content it plans to broadcast, the companies announced Wednesday.
BSkyB, which markets itself as "Sky," will transmit the 3D service across its existing infrastructure and it can be received by the current generation of Sky+HD set-top boxes, which are currently installed in 1.6 million homes. BSkyB subscribers will need to buy a new 3D-capable HD set to watch it.
"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, in a statement. "Utilizing 3ality Digital's technology and equipment will be a key component in providing our customers with a cutting-edge entertainment experience."
"We're proud to collaborate with Sky as the company works to deliver on its commitment to pioneer 3D broadcasting," added 3ality Digital, LLC CEO Sandy Climan in a statement. "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 3D production pipeline is heating up both in the U.S. and overseas, which should provide strong growth for 3ality Digital and its main U.S. competitor, PACE. New York-based All Mobile Video announced this week that it will build a new 3D mobile production truck using 3ality's camera rigs, while Burbank-based PACE plans to build a new 53-foot production truck in partnership with mobile production giant NEP Broadcasting.
PACE, which ESPN has tapped to provide 3D production technology for its new 3D channel that launches in June, already owns a 43-foot production truck and last year created a 53-foot unit, Supershooter 3D, in a joint venture with NEP.