As expected, pay-TV operator DirecTV
today launched three 3D channels-two linear channels, and one on-demand---to
complement the new 3D channel from ESPN that it began carrying last month.
DirecTV's flagship 3D channel,
"n3D," is being sponsored by TV set-maker Panasonic in a deal announced at the
Consumer Electronics Show last January. It is now available at no additional
cost to millions of DirecTV HD customers on channel 103. DirecTV HD
subscribers, who received a software update to their set-tops last month to
support 3D, can watch the 3D channel with a 3D-compatible TV set and accessory
Big events to air this month on n3D
include Turner's broadcast of the NASCAR Coke Zero 400 on July 3, the local
broadcast of the Yankees-Mariners series on July 10-11, and DirecTV's
exclusive, national 3D broadcast of the 2010 MLB All-Star Game, which is being
produced by Fox Sports.
Other original 3D programming
available on n3D this month includes Guitar
Center Sessions with artists Peter Gabriel and Jane's Addiction and
documentary titles such as Dinosaurs:
Giants of Patagonia, Wild Safari: A
South African Adventure and N Wave Picture's S.O.S Planet, African Adventure:
Safari in the Okavango and Encounter
in the Third Dimension.
In addition to n3D, DirecTV is also
launching a movie-focused 3D channel, DirecTV Cinema in 3D, on channel 104,
which is currently offering IMAX titles Deep
Sea 3D and Under the Sea 3D.
There is also "n3D On Demand" on channel 105, which is currently delivering
replays of ESPN's 3D coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup matches. DirecTV launched
ESPN 3D on channel 106 on June 11.
"The ability to bring high-quality
3D programming into the home is a huge advancement in the evolution of
television," said Derek Chang, executive vice president of content strategy and
development for DirecTV, in a statement. "Our innovative technology has allowed
us to lead the industry in HD and we are continuing on that same path by
establishing ourselves as the premier destination for the best 3D viewing
experience available. We are proud to be partnering with Panasonic and are
excited to deliver this new dimension of television to millions of DirecTV HD
customers across the country."
"This is a major milestone in the
young history of 3D home entertainment and Panasonic is very proud to work with
DirecTV to bring consumers this new TV channel dedicated exclusively to 3D programming,"
added Joseph Taylor, Chairman & CEO, Panasonic Corporation of North
America. "We have launched our Viera 3D TVs and Blu-ray 3D player, and
they have been very well received by consumers, but we know the key to the
success of 3D for the home is the availability of content. The arrival of â€˜n3D
powered by Panasonic' underscores the fact that consumers will have access to a
rapidly growing range of 3D TV programming including live major sports and
entertainment events, as well as movies on 3D Blu-ray Disc in 2010."