Korea’s SkyLife announces 3D plans

March 24, 2010

Website: Rapid TV News

SkyLife, transmitting from Seoul in South Korea will go 3D for some sports coverage from May.

It is also looking to launch two dedicated 3D movie channels by 2012.

The Korea Times reports that SkyLife is investing Won5 million in 3D technology to allow the transmissions to go ahead.

SkyLife CEO Lee Mong-ryong told a press conference in Seoul that: “Most of the budget will be used to buy the necessary equipment for the broadcasts.

“From May, we will have some live sports coverage and will expand the time span of 3D content to seven hours a day.”

3D content will be available this year from ESPN, DirecTV, BSkyB, SkyLife and other broadcasters and providers.

ESPN, for example, is expected to broadcast 85 events in 3D this year.

Citing challenges involved with converting 2D content into 3D, Lee Mong-ryong said the company would inject more resources to secure more content.

SkyLife plans to strike content partnerships with major Hollywood companies including Disney and DreamWorks.

Content protection will come from Nagravision which is supplying its Nagra conditional access system to SkyLife.

SkyLife will use Nagra for its high-definition (HD) platform.

Alongside the introduction of HD, the cooperation with Nagravision also aims to cover services including hybrid satellite/Internet-based television and 3D services.

SkyLife says it has opened discussions with Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and Fuji Film for joint investment in increased 3D programming.

Mr Lee said it will provide 3D movies to subscribers based on video-on-demand (VOD) with content from upcoming partnerships.

SkyLife officials say the company will provide 10 recent movies per week to set-top boxes.

The service will be available in the latter half of this year.

The multi-channel digital satellite broadcaster is developing new technology, helping subscribers who have only 60Hz regular LCD or LED-backlit LCD TVs watch 3D programs without buying 3D-only TV sets.

“If we continue on this path, SkyLife is positive about launching two more 3D-only channels by 2012,” according to the CEO.

SkyLife is aiming for 3 million subscribers by the end of this year and 5 million by 2012, the year when South Korea completes the transition to digital television.

When asked about any expected drawbacks, Lee said the provider will charge more for 3D programs.

Currently, it charges between Won12,000 and Won14,000 to its customers for HD bundled packages.


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