ISLEWORTH, UK: News Corporation controlled UK satellite services monopoly BSkyB has launched a pilot scheme to test three-dimensional TV transmissions. Mass market take-up, however, is definitely not, repeat not, just around the corner! 

Viewers will need to use polarising spectacles, a special 3-D-enabled TV set is also required, as is Sky's existing high-definition set-top box. And no-one is yet mentioning anything as vulgar as cost.

How does it work?

In pretty much the same way as those old 3-D 'Lion-in-Your-Lap movies of the 1950 and 60s.

Film is shot using two cameras side-by side, emulating the alignment of the human eye. When the dual images are simultaneously broadcast, the special glasses trick the brain into constructing a single picture with greater depth and a realistic impression of three-dimensional images.

According to Sky's director of strategic product development Gerry O'Sullivan, the system is likely to be demonstrated at January's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

And although 3-D capable TVs are currently on sale only in the Far East, O'Sullivan is optimistic that European manufacturers will take-up the technology.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff