Virgin’s 3D On Demand Steals Sky3D’s Thunder

Sky’s 3D Channel

Sky are just days away from launching their Sky3D channel on October 1st. The channel has been live for several months, but only showing clips of 3D presentational content.

Now, Sky have gone to significant lengths to promote its launch, including such marketing marvels as…

Invitations to previews of 3D in different towns being sent out in their Sky Magazine with venues including Liverpool, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester and London railways stations.

A competition offering a 47-inch LG 3D-Ready TV through Sky Rewards

Roping in Stephen Fry to sing the praises of 3D…

A special 13-room 3-storey Sky Gallery at the O2 in London featuring “Europe’s Largest 3D Cinema Screen”.

Showing Premier League football in 3D at more than 1,500 pubs and clubs across the UK

Virgin's 3D On Demand

Virgin's 3D On Demand

So it must be a tad frustrating to see Virgin launch their “3D Movies On Demand” today! What’s interesting is that Virgin Media TV customers with a 3DTV and special glasses only need a Virgin 3D-Ready HD box (V HD or V+ HD) to watch 3D movies via Pay Per View powered by Filmflex. Virgin said…

To mark the launch of Virgin Media’s 3D On Demand service, Brit flick StreetDance 3D will be available from today for just £5.99 (for a 24 hour rental). With further 3D movies to launch over the coming months – including Garfield’s Pet Force 3D (October), Disney’s A Christmas Carol 3D (November), Step Up 3D (December) and Despicable Me 3D (early 2011), plus more titles to be announced soon.

Contrast that with Sky who require customers to have the full Sky World HD package (£61 per month) before being allowed access to the 3D content.

Interestingly the two media giants are already fighting over bragging rights, with Sky claiming their channel to be “Europe’s first 3D TV Channel” and Virgin claiming 3D Movies On Demand as, “the first digital TV service to bring cutting edge 3D straight to UK TV screens“*. (the asterisk refers to the qualifier… “Virgin Media’s 3D On Demand is the first digital TV service to be commercially available to millions of UK homes”)

So there’s already a battle royal brewing, which can only be good for customers if it drives prices down through competition.

If you’re tempted by Sky 3D, their channel kick-offs officially on October 1st with the Ryder Cup, Bolt and Monster vs Aliens. Apparently also coming in October is Scotland v Spain in a Euro 2012 qualifier, Everton v Liverpool in the premier league and the movies Ice Age 3: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs, My Bloody Valentine, Fly Me To The Moon and Coraline. Also promised in 2010 are Clash Of The Titans, Garfield’s Pet Force and Street Dance 3D, the latter two are also available on Virgin’s 3D on Demand.

To add spice to the mix, Virgin have teamed up with Samsung as a partner for their 3D launch in the same way Sky teamed up with LG. Let’s hope the competition is a driver for better and better customer value!

Which service do you think will be best? Leave a comment below (for a limited time)…

About Guy Wilson

Guy Wilson started writing for the 3DTVReviewer blog in early 2010. Guy is passionate about all forms of 3D tech and can be contacted at
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2 Responses to Virgin’s 3D On Demand Steals Sky3D’s Thunder

  1. john smith says:

    im allready a sky world subscriber so they have got me?

  2. Rob says:

    May I ask a question

    Can any of the available active screens display a single 3d image from a USB or computer

    The Samsung can display a home made 3d movies in a number of video formats in both up down and side side formats but not a single image.

    Sony cant do either it seems, a movie or a still.

    I have heard that the LG active system can however.



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