Yep, it's really happening. 3D
content is finally arriving on television
sets, which is arguably the last major puzzle piece that in-home 3D had
to solve. 3D glasses are here, as are 3D HDTV
s. And there's at least
some demand for having 3D support around in the home. But if there's no
3D programming to enjoy, what's the use in having the 3D hardware
around? DirecTV was well aware of this, and now they're becoming the
first major pay-TV provider to launch an actual suite of 3D channels.
ESPN 3D was the first actual 3D channel to go live with the start of the
World Cup, but now n3D (which is being sponsored by Panasonic) will be a
variety of 3D sports and entertainment programming to DirecTV
customers. The channel will also be home to DirecTV's exclusive 3D
broadcast of the 2010 MLB All-Star Game, while 3 channels in total will
be hitting the airwaves. There will be a linear channel dedicated
exclusively to 3D programming and viewable on
3D television sets including Panasonic's line of VIERA HDTVs (n3D),
which will be slotted on channel 103 for now. Throughout the month of
July, n3D customers will have access to exclusive, original 3D
programming such as Guitar Center Sessions with Peter Gabriel and Jane's
Addiction, as well as additional 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.
n3D will also offer special events such as this weekend's running of the
NASCAR Coke Zero 400, the local broadcast of the Yankees-Mariners
series on July 10-11 and the company's exclusive, national broadcast of
FOX Sports 2010 MLB All-Star Game in 3D on July 13. In addition to n3D,
DirecTV is also launching DirecTV Cinema in 3D on channel 104, which is
currently offering IMAX titles Deep Sea 3D and Under the Sea 3D and n3D
On Demand on channel 105, which is currently delivering replays of
ESPN's 3D coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup matches. Obviously, ESPN
3D has already been launched, completing the trio.
Will this mark the start of something huge? We'd like to think so, and
if DirecTV can do it, we know those other carriers can as well. It's
just a matter of time, as they say.
"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. "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," said Joseph M. 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 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."
Panasonic is the exclusive presenting sponsor of DIRECTV's n3D channel. In January at the Consumer Electronics Show, DIRECTV and Panasonic announced their plans to launch 3D TV channels and have since worked together to leverage relationships with programming partners and movie studios to obtain new and existing 3D content. For more information on DIRECTV's 3D channels please visit www.directv.com/3D.
Last month, DIRECTV HD customers received a free software upgrade enabling them to have access to the 3D channels on DIRECTV. DIRECTV HD customers will need a 3D television set and 3D glasses to view 3D programming on DIRECTV.
Panasonic is a global leader in the development of end-to-end Full HD 3D technology solutions including the world's first Full HD 3D video camera that records to solid-state memory, Full HD 3D Blu-ray Disc authoring, and the award winning VT-25 Series of Full HD 3D VIERA Plasma TVs and 3D Blu-ray Disc Players. For more information on Panasonic's Full HD 3D technology, visit www.panasonic.com/3D.