Virgin to run 3D season

By Julian Clover
November 10, 2009 08.45 UK

Virgin Media is taking a two-pronged approach to the delivery of 3D television. While visitors to its newly opened store in Oxford Street can sample a vision of the future, subscribers are being offered a season of 3D content in proprietary anaglyph.

The 3D Festival will be offered to the cablenet’s subscribers as part of its on demand service from November 17, the same time as Channel 4’s own HD season gets underway. Subscribers can pick up the amber and blue glasses in the Sainsbury’s supermarket or in Virgin Media stores.

“Virgin Media is always looking at new technology to see if it is something we would like to offer as a service to our customers. We are currently investigating 3DTV and wanted visitors to our Oxford Street store to get a taste of some of the 3D content that is being produced and experience this technology for themselves,” said a Virgin Media spokeswoman. She added that the cablenet was in discussions with Warner Bros, the producers of the series Chuck, with a view to repeating last August’s 3D broadcast. The Channel 4 content, which includes footage of The Queen in her coronation year, Friday the 13th Part III and a Miley Cyrus concert, will also be available on demand to Virgin subscribers.

The Oxford Street demo uses the side-by-side format, a version of which has also been used by Sky in its own 3D demonstrations.

On a recent investor call, Virgin Media CEO Neil Berkett described 3D as an interesting prospect. “I think it’s more of a VOD proposition than a linear proposition, you can see certain live rights in 3D being of interest, but by the time you get your glasses on it would be quite nice to push the button on video-on-demand.”

Last May, Virgin announced 3D would be a part of a 200 Mbps internet trial running in Ashford, Kent, though no further details have been given.