Hidden talent is a marvellous thing. It gives us the shy kid with glasses and no friends who founds a global IT empire and cures malaria. It gives us a frumpy unknown woman who’s voice becomes a download sensation. It gives us NSW State of Origin win in three weeks time (go the Blues!). And it reveals that some gear in our AV rack is 3D capable and we don’t even know it.

While most of us haven’t yet stumped up for a 3D television and are unlikely to for a while, many households are already 3D equipped. Those with a PS3, for example, are able to play 3D Blu-ray discs. You’re unlikely to start your 3D viewing archive here, though, simply because you’d be spending real-live money on something you can’t yet watch.

But 3D broadcasts, such as the State of Origin and the forthcoming World Cup games, are free. And with the latent talent in your PVR, you can store them – for nothing – until you’re tooled up with a 3D display to watch them.

Topfield's TRF-2400 Masterpiece HD features 500GB for up to 200 hours of recording, twin HD tuners, and includes both USB and eSATA support.
Topfield’s TRF-2400 Masterpiece HD features 500GB for up to 200 hours of recording, twin HD tuners, and includes both USB and eSATA support.

PVRs use internal digital TV receiver chips to capture free-to-air broadcasts and store them as a digital signal on an internal hard drive. This digital broadcast signal is just data – ones and zeros – and the PVR doesn’t discriminate between the types of data it receives, stores and transmits to a television. Standard definition, high definition or 3D, it’s all the same to a PVR.

So if you want to start an archive of seminal sporting moments in 3D for viewing on suitable TV some time in the future, you can. Just make sure your PVR is of the high definition variety and, ideally, has twin tuners. You can use one to record the 2D game and the other to capture the action on the 3D channel. Go for the biggest hard drive you can afford – think 320GB minimum – and look for connections that allow you to expand capacity via attachment of an external hard drive.