Panasonic bets that consumers will like homemade 3D TV; History strikes 3D deal with DirecTV

> Panasonic 3d camcorderWhat's a vendor to do when the latest, greatest technology it has to offer gets a lukewarm reception from the public? Involve the public more directly, that's what. At least that appears to be what Panasonic has done by introducing what it calls the "world's first consumer 3D camcorder." If consumers don't want to watch what programmers offer in 3D, maybe they'd like to watch themselves. It's a thought. News release.

> Not everyone is daunted when it comes to offering up 3D TV. A&E Television Networks' unit History has struck a deal with DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) to air a 3D version of its series "The Universe." Perhaps those with Panasonic camcorders can record the experience for future social networking. Story.

> Not to make light of crime, but there must be more than few subscribers out there who see this story as a Robin Hood revival. Police in Jacksonville are looking for a thief who wore a flashlight on his head during a 3:00 a.m. raid on a Comcast building where s/he pried open a safe and grabbed $4,000 in cash. Of course, Robin Hood gave the money back to the poor; this thief likely kept it to pay next month's cable bill. Story.

> Yesterday we mentioned the drawbacks of being the only cable operator in a state: When service goes down, it goes down everywhere. Here's an addendum: there's a further drawback to being the only cable operator in a state that's also an island. Time Warner Cable's Oceanic system in Hawaii went down statewide because of a disruption in an "underseas fiber optic cable," according to The Maui News. The signals have to get there somehow; they don't just materialize. Story.

> The FCC, not always the easiest agency from which to get information, at least is making an effort to keep consumers (read that taxpayers who pay their salaries) informed with a new portal www.fcc.gov/consumers that offers up information on different telecommunications issues and tips for making the best choices in purchasing communications services and devices, the agency said in a news release.

And finally... While this space generally shies away from cable TV programmers--unless they're doing something technologically exciting like offering 3D TV--money is always a factor so it's worth noting that Starz Entertainment, never known for its original programming, has been meeting with what The Hollywood Reporter describes as "potential partners throughout the world" to raise $1 billion (yes, with a B) worth of financing for ... wait for it ... original programming. Story.

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