Verizon to join 3D TV competition by end of the year

Comcast, which prides itself on being a "fast follower" adopting new technologies, is actually way ahead of the game when it comes to 3D TV and its primary competition, Verizon, is following not-so-fast behind. Comcast will drive the much-anticipated 3D broadcast of Tiger Woods' return to the Masters Tournament this week from Augusta, Ga. while Verizon has said it will chip in a 3D package to its subscribers "before the end of 2010."

Verizon has quite correctly noted that "the market for 3D TV is very early in its development" and there's no rush to get material in front of consumers. That's a viewpoint echoed by public radio's Marketplace Morning Report and Signal Strength's Marguerite Reardon, who pointed out that "it's still early days and that means consumers might want to wait for the technology to mature before jumping on the bandwagon."

All true. But with new technology, as Comcast has repeatedly learned over the years, perception of leadership is sometimes as important as ability to deliver on the new product. With ESPN and DirecTV hyping 3D channels and Comcast leading the way with the Masters and Cablevision showing 3D hockey, Verizon, which also indicated it was throttling back on FiOS, might be seen as a slow follower.

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