DirecTV, Panasonic Partner On Dedicated All-3D Channels

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NEW YORK - So what will your new 3D-capable TV be good for once the World Cup is over? Panasonic and DirecTV provided at least part of the answer Thursday with the launch of three new all-3D DirecTV channels.

The three new 3D channels were switched on Thursday during a press event in New York. All are available at no extra cost to DirecTV subscribers who already pay for an HD upgrade package.

The first channel, called "n3D powered by Panasonic," offers a fixed schedule of 3D programming and appears on DirecTV channel 103. DirecTV Cinema in 3D is now airing content like the IMAX movies "Deep Sea 3D," and "Under the Sea 3D" on channel 104 while channel 105 is now occupied by n3D On Demand. The on-demand service, which now offers 3D replays of FIFA World Cup coverage by ESPN, requires an HD DVR as well as a broadband Internet connection.

Upcoming events to be aired in 3D on n3D channel 103 include the July 13 Fox Sports broadcast of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game and the July 3 NASCAR Coke Zero 400 auto race at Daytona International Speedway.

"It's not about the 3D of old with spears coming at you ... it's about an immersive experience," said Steven Roberts, senior vice president at DirecTV. "This is really just the beginning.... We truly believe that 3D is the next step in the television revolution."

The n3D services on DirecTV will work with any brand of 3D-capable HDTV and active-shutter 3D glasses, not just Panasonic's. The necessary software upgrade has already been delivered to DirecTV hardware in subscribers' homes. Roberts said on-demand 3D movies will be priced one dollar more than other movie offerings but said the 3D premium for special events would be determined on an individual basis.

"The emphasis [in the 3D content] is on the whole family," said Eisuke Tsuyuzaki, chief technology officer at Panasonic, who explained that the "n" in "n3D" stands for "network."

More information on the n3D channels is on DirecTV's 3D Web site ( www.directv.com/3D ).

This story, "DirecTV, Panasonic Partner On Dedicated All-3D Channels " was originally published by PCWorld.

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