Both Sky and Virgin are currently working on 3D versions of their EPGs. Sky, which has produced a version of its HD guide in partnership with NDS is already downloading the guide as part of a software update to Sky+ HD receivers.
Unlike demos of 3D EPGs given by NDS over the past two years, the difference in depth between the standard and stereoscopic guide is minute, and is of only a few percent. Sky’s chief engineer Chris Johns told Broadband TV News that the satcaster still wanted it to be possible to read the guide without glasses. Automatic switching will be included in a later update; at present owners of 3DTVs need to tell their television when they are viewing 3D content.
Meanwhile, Virgin Media said it was also looking to introduce a 3D version of its guide. Head of on demand development Kevin O’Neil told the DTG 3D conference said the cableco was updating its boxes to HDMI 1.4 that would allow for automatic switching by TVs to the appropriate 3D format. Trick play icons such as fast forward indicators had earlier been removed, but a 3D EPG was now in the offing. “We’ve just launched TiVo with a brand new UI and we’re now working very closely with them and that is the platform we will initially work to create a full 3D EPG with Z-plane.”
In common with other cable operators, Virgin’s 3D content is shown as part of its VOD offer. Sky 3D runs from 09.00 to midnight, Johns said there was a need for more content, and the broadcaster would not run a 24 hour channel just for the sake of it.