World Cup telly: HD or 3D?

The World Cup is almost here and you may be trying to decide how best to watch all the action. There are dozens of television brands, multiple screen sizes and high-definition options available. 3D has also arrived on the scene so how can you make sure you are getting the most from your viewing experience?

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The rights to the World Cup competition (being filmed in 3D by Sony) have been snapped up by just a few providers. If you live in the USA (ESPN), Spain (Sogecable) or South Korea (SBS) you'll be able to see all the live action from the comfort of your own home provided you have the right kit.

In the UK the rights to the World Cup are firmly in the hands of the BBC and ITV, both of which are not currently rolling out 3D content. Sky does have a 3D channel but does not have rights to the games.

All is not lost however, Sony and Fifa have managed to secure a deal with a company called Aruna Media. They will be screening 3D matches live to cinemas all over the world, 50 of which will be in the UK. It will be worth your while to check with your local cinema to see if any 3D World Cup matches will be shown.

So why is it that 3D not widely available yet? The problem is, despite improvements in 3D viewing, you still need to wear headgear. TV is also quite limited in terms of size. To make the most of your viewing you need to see the image head on, this is fine in the cinema but not so practical in the living room.

There is better news for high definition TV. 56 out of 64 World Cup matches will be shown in high definition (HDTV), which are available on Freeview, Freesat, Virgin and Sky.

The BBC and ITV between them hold the rights to the World Cup. They're sharing up the matches pretty much 50/50 and it's expected that all the games will be shown in HD on either BBC HD and ITV1 HD.

To get high definition viewing you will need a HDTV. High definition (HD) offers picture quality with four times more detail than standard definition (SD) TV. This means brighter colour, detail and depth. This will make watching the World Cup an unforgettable experience.