Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) keeps finding things to do with all the bandwidth it has available on its Google Fiber network in Kansas City. The latest offering, 3DTV, will help Google Fiber keep pace with offers already on the market from competitive video plays offered by telcos AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ).
Google Fiber subscribers will have access to two packages of 3D programming: 3net, which is already available to existing customers, and ESPN3D, which requires a phone call to the operator and an additional $5 per month subscription fee.
Google, in its pitch for the service, said "the amazing capacity of fiber" makes the offers possible. 3net, according to a story in The Next Web, is offering an "extensive library" of original 3D programming, while ESPN3D is the "industry's first 24/7 3D sports network." In either case, even if the programming is there, the audience will probably be somewhat lacking due to the slow adoption of 3DTV and the need to wear bulky 3D glasses even when you have a 3D television.
Of course, with all that bandwidth, Google can afford to be magnanimous in what it offers to a small audience. Other IPTV players, such as AT&T with its limited fiber-to-the-node U-verse architecture, and even bandwidth-rich Verizon, with its fiber-to-the-home FiOS offering, can't afford to be quite so generous, although both are in the 3D game.
AT&T offers "several 3D titles in our U-verse Movies library today" for rental prices of $2 to $7, an AT&T spokeswoman told FierceIPTV in an e-mail. Thanks to a new carriage agreement with Disney, U-verse will also soon add ESPN3D to its lineup.
FiOS, for now, doesn't have a 3D package per se, but "we do offer a variety of 3D programming," a Verizon spokesman wrote in an e-mail.
"ESPN3D is the only linear TV channel and that's available to all customers who subscribe to the Ultimate HD package," she noted.
As with AT&T, FiOS VOD features 3D programming.
- The Next Web had this story
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