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U.K. Cable Operator Virgin Bows 3D Services

The U.K.'s largest cable operator Virgin Media has launched 3D movies on its on demand platform just days before the market's dominant play TV operator BSkyB was planning its October 1 debut of the Sky 3D channel to consumers. Earlier this year, in April, Sky jumped ahead of the 3D game by rolling out a 3D channel to over 1,000 pubs and clubs in the U.K., where more than 2 million people have watched sports produced by Sky in 3D.

"As we've already seen with the take-up of high definition programs, viewers are continually looking for new ways to experience their favorite shows and with the addition of 3D On Demand, they will be able to watch eye-popping movies whenever they want," noted Cindy Ross, executive director of digital entertainment at Virgin Media in a statement.

The first film available in 3D on Virgin's VOD platform was the British film StreetDance 3D, which cost customers £5.99 ($$) for a 24 hour rental. Upcoming films will include Garfield's Pet Force 3D in October and Disney's A Christmas Carol 3D in November.

The VOD 3D service is available to all Virgin subscribers with 3D sets who have a V HD or a V+ HD settop box.

As part of the 3D VOD service, Virgin also inked an exclusive 3D TV set partnership with Samsung that will see Samsung TVs featured in Virgin Media stores around the country.