This article was published 14 years ago

Cable providers not in hurry to add 3DTV channels

With the exception of DirecTV, cable outlets nationwide are not rushing to add 3DTV channels to their cable systems when 3D channels like ESPN launch later this year.

DISH network, Comcast, Eatel and AT&T have no immediate plans for adding 3DTv channels on their systems and many don’t know if 3DTv channels will be added at all.

“We agree that this is an exciting area that we’re watching closely,” Andy Morgan, spokesperson for AT&T U-verse said in an email interview. “(However) we don’t have any specific plans to discuss at this time.”

The same response was given when asked if DISH network would provide 3D channels in the future.

“We don’t have any announcements regarding 3D TV at this time,” Allyson Mylrea, corporate communications coordinator for DISH network said.

DISH Network also noted that the company isn’t completely abandoning on offering 3D channels in the future, saying “We’d be remiss to say we aren’t exploring it.”

A company spokesperson did not respond to questions on the reasons why DISH network wasn’t adding 3DTv channels to the lineup.

DirecTV and Comcast go 3D

Some outlets are getting into serving 3D channels to those that have the equipment.

DirecTV responded with a press release that the satellite TV provider will partner with Panasonic to launch three 3D  channels, one being a pay-per-view channel, this Summer.

“”We led the way with HD and we are excited to do the same with 3D,” said Eric Shanks, executive vice president, DIRECTV Entertainment said in a press release. “Adding the most HD channels to our lineup gave customers a viewing experience that was incredibly lifelike; adding 3D to the mix will take that one step further allowing them to become part of the cast as the picture comes to life in their living rooms. We are taking a technology that at one time could only be seen in a theater and bringing it into the living rooms of the largest audience in the United States. By partnering with Panasonic, we are bringing together two industry leaders to deliver the most advanced television technology available today and together we are continuing to set the standard for the best television viewing experience available.”

When asked if current subscribers will need new equipment besides a 3DTv set; Martin Sheehan, investor relations for DirecTV, responded that current subscribers will not need to upgrade their satellite receivers or buy a new dish.

But DirecTV isn’t the only cable outlet to provide 3D content.

Comcast, the largest cable provider in the United States, has select movies like Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert, My Bloody Valentine, Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience, Coraline and The Final Destination available in 3D on-demand without a 3DTV set.

The cable provider also announced that the cable provider will broadcast the Masters in 3D.

“For the first time ever, consumers with new 3D televisions and 3D-enabled PCs will be able to watch the next evolution of 3D in their homes on television and on the Internet when the Masters broadcasts live in 3D from April 7-11,” Reg Griffin, Vice President of Communications for Comcast – Southern region said. “This historic broadcast will be a glimpse at the future of entertainment, and we couldn’t be more excited to bring it to consumers first.”

Besides broadcasting the Masters in 3D, Comcast doesn’t have any plans on offering 3D channels to the line.

“That is all pretty proprietary right up until the time there is an announcement ready to be made,” Reg Griffin, Vice President of Communications for Comcast – Southern region. “We wouldn’t discuss pros or cons of adding one over another at this point.  But certainly, we are always looking at ways to enhance and expand the value and variety of the programming we carry.”

Cox Communications, Time Warner, Lafayette (La.) Utility System and Suddenlink did not respond for an interview at press time.

UPDATE: Steve Sawyer, vice-president of Cox Louisiana, tells ControlAlTV that Cox will offer the Master golf tournament in 3D as well and hinted that the cable provider for New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette may offer 3D channels in the future.

“We are currently working on community events which we will sponsor in order for our customers to preview this new technology,” Sawyer said. “Our customers trust that they can always get the latest and greatest video services from Cox – HD, On DEMAND, DVRs and now 3D; Cox will continue to meet these expectations with  delivery of 3D services more regularly available later in the year.”