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British Pub Watch: Vizrt on Tap for Sky 3D Channel
3/24/2010


DBS firm BSkyB serving mostly Western Europe has chosen Vizrt to furnish its core graphics platform for Sky's 3D sports channel set to start up in April.

But a lot of Brits will be able to get a taste of 3D (along with some tangible nourishment, no doubt) since about 1,000 pubs have so far signed up to screen the first hours of Sky 3D — which launches April 3 with the Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Chelsea.

Vizrt said its stereoscopic system for Sky 3D uses a CG operator interface (Viz Trio), which controls its render engine PC. The graphics engine uses two graphics cards — thereby separately rendering one HD channel for each eye. The dual channels are then synchronized by a proprietary Vizrt application developed for the process.

The Bergen, Norway-based firm (a longtime NAB exhibitor) said both the stereoscopic convergence point and depth are quickly adjustable to permit fast-changing camera views. The system can also be driven by GPI triggers from a dedicated vision-mixing desk.

Vizrt said it may have had a leg up on the global competition vying for Sky Sports' 3D channel plans because the company has long made it a habit to deliver a lot of graphics as true 3D animations (sans the addition of stereoscopy).

Its current subs will not be required to upgrade their Sky+ HD set-top boxes to access the new 3D satellite channel, since all such boxes are "3D ready." But the big Catch-22 is they will have to shed quite a few English pounds for a new 3D-ready HD set, which are expected to start hitting retail shelves in the U.K. in the third or fourth quarter of this year.

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