Sky buys 15,000* 3D TVs from LG: Heading to a pub near you, whether you like it or not

Sky has bought a job lot of 3D televisions from LG in a scheme to install the sets in pubs across the country and whip up interest around the broadcaster's 3D channels

Patrick Steen Special to CNET News
2 min read

You might soon have to wear stupid-looking glasses to watch the footie down the pub. With its first dedicated 3D TV channel, Sky 3D, launching this April, the satellite broadcaster is desperate to get 3D-capable TVs into bars around the country. To meet this goal Sky has reached into its Tardis-like pockets and bought a job lot of LG 3D TVs.

It looks like the Korean giant has taken the initiative with its commercial-only LD920, since most manufacturers have avoided polarised televisions and pinned their hopes on active-shutter technology for the home market.

The disadvantage of LG's system is currently it can't offer a Full HD picture, since the technology requires both 2D images to be on-screen at the same time, basically halving the resolution. Its advantage is the technology doesn't require expensive shutter glasses. Instead pubs will just need to fork out for the cheap, grubby glasses you find at the cinema.

We should have spotted the signs following Sky's 3D preview event in January, where the broadcaster installed LG TVs in nine UK pubs for the world's first live 3D TV sports broadcast. This is apparently the largest deal of its kind, presumably literally, thanks to the mountain of glasses that'll come with the TVs -- a mountain even William Shatner wouldn't want to climb.

"LG wants to enable more customers to experience 3D TV technology in action," said Havis Kwon, executive vice president of LG's LCD division. "Watching live 3D sports broadcasts in public areas brings fans as close to the game as possible without having to step into the stadium. These partnerships will help consumers become more familiar with 3D TVs and that can only be a positive for the industry and innovation."

Whether the gamble will pay off is another matter, since it remains to be seen if UK consumers really want to watch their sport in 3D. Can you imagine walking into your favourite boozer to find all your mates wearing dorky glasses? Sure, if you live in Dalston that happens all the time, but for most people it'd be weird.

*Update: A previous version of this story stated that LG had sold Sky 15,000 TVs, a figure it was very keen to shout about in its initial press release. But the company has now backtracked on the numbers, telling us, "the figure of 15,000 3D TVs is inaccurate" and that, "Sky is helping its commercial customers purchase TVs direct from a UK third party." Oops.

What this presumably means is that pubs will be given the opportunity to buy an LG 3D TV at a discounted rate, but Sky won't force them upon the country from a full-to-bursting warehouse. Where are the bombastic "it's the largest deal of its kind" comments now, LG?