Industry analysts are predicting slow, but steady, worldwide growth in the 3D TV segment through 2015, but critics say the uptake of what some in the industry see as the next Holy Grail (as both DVD and Blu-ray sales continue to slide) would be a lot quicker if there was more programming available in addition to the steady onslaught of major sporting events.
DirecTV and Panasonic, who demoed their version of the 3D future at NAB in Las Vegas in April with partner Harmonic, this week rolled out a trio of 3D channels, including n3D--a linear channel dedicated exclusively to 3D programming.
DirecTV subscribers will get n3D free and 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 DirecTV's exclusive, national broadcast of FOX Sports 2010 MLB All-Star Game in 3D on July 13.
DirecTV's offering, DirecTV Cinema, meanwhile, will feature 3D content like IMAX titles Deep Sea 3D and Under the Sea 3D and n3D On Demand will have programming like replays of ESPN's 3D coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup matches. DirecTV also carries ESPN 3D.
"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.
Last month, DirecTV HD customers received a free software upgrade enabling them to have access to the 3D channels.
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