This week, Sky launches its 3D-television service. The cinemas are full of three-dimensional movies and a heap of hardware has hit the shops. But is this what consumers want?
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The studios say it dramatically enhances our viewing experience. But sceptics claim it is merely a ploy to make us pay more at the box office. Jonathan Brown and Kevin Rawlinson investigate
The technology is suddenly everywhere – heralded as the future of television and transforming cinema-goers' experience. This week rugby sponsors O2 announced that England's upcoming Six Nations matches with Wales and Ireland would be beamed live in 3D to 40 Odeon and Cineworld cinemas nationwide next month. Meanwhile James Cameron's Avatar is proving the most successful 3D movie ever made, with takings that have topped over $1bn, and Pixar's Up took $680m globally. In 2010 around 20 out of 170 movies will be made in 3D, double the number from last year. A 3D animated remake of the Beatles' Yellow Submarine, directed by Robert Zemeckis, is also in the pipeline. At last week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas all the major TV manufacturers unveiled 3D sets. BSkyB plans to launch a 3D channel later this year.
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