(June 1, 2010) In December 2009 HD Guru was first to report DirecTV’s planned 3D service launch. 3D broadcasts commence June 11, 2010 with four 3D channels the most planned by any program provider so far. Comcast, the only other service to announce 3D broadcast plans comes in a distant second with just one 3D channel, ESPN3D. Here’s the first complete guide to everything you’ll need to know to get round-the-clock 3D.
The New DirecTV 3D Channels
Channel 103- “N3D” 3D content and programs often referred to as a “barker” channel, as it will loop its 3D programming (according to a DirecTV representative). Programs suppliers are AEG/AEG Digital Media, CBS, Fox Sports/FSN, Golden Boy Promotions, HDNet, MTV, NBC Universal and Turner Broadcasting System. DirecTV plans to add new content as it becomes available, including the MLB All Star Game on July 13th. N3D is free with any HD DirecTV subscription and the right hardware.
Channel 104- DirecTV “PPV 3D” (Pay Per View) is a linear HD 3D channel featuring movies or special events in 3D at fixed start times. Movies cost $6.99, representing a $1 premium over the same title in 2D and may be recorded on a DVR in 3D within a 24 hour viewing window.
Channel 105 -”On Demand 3D”- downloads of movies and other 3D programs via a (required) high speed Internet connection to the DVR. 3D Movies cost $6.99, the same as 3D PPV. On Demand content is only available with DirecTV HD DVRs.
Channel 106-”ESPN 3D” A variety of live and recorded sports programming, all broadcast in 3D. ESPN 3D plans a minimum of 85 live sporting events during its first year (including the first 2010 FIFA World Cup match, featuring South Africa versus Mexico). Other forthcoming 3D events include the X Games 16, 2010 college football ACC Championship, 2011 BCS National Championship game, college basketball and NBA games in 2011.
What You Need:
1) A 3D HDTV
Here’s the list of 3D compatible HDTV models (xx=screen size) available to date (other makes and models are scheduled for release later this year):
Panasonic- TC-P50VT20 and TC-PxxVT25 series (all are 2010 models)
LG-xxLX9500 and xxLX6500Ã‚Â series (all are 2010 models)
Mitsubishi rear projectors covering the 2007-2010 model years (note: requires use of Mitsubishi 3DC-1000 converter available at end of June 2010) WDxx833, WDxx735, WDxx835,Ã‚Â WDxx736,Ã‚Â WDxx737,Ã‚Â WDxx837,Ã‚Â WDxx638,Ã‚Â WDxx738,Ã‚Â WDxx838, WDxxC8,WDxxC9, Ã‚Â WDxxC10,Ã‚Â L65-A90Ã‚Â and L75A91 series
2) 3D Glasses that are compatible with your brand 3D TV
3) A DirecTV HD Receiver or DVR (connected to the DirecTV 3 LNB Oval Dish) - One of the following DirecTV HD receivers : H21, H23 and H24 or HD DVR models HR21, HR22, HR23 or HD24 are required (Note: the DirecTV models H20 and HR20 are incompatible with its 3D channels and must be replaced with one of the models above.)
DirecTV does not state why its 20 series boxes will not pass 3D content. However we know the 20 series boxes use an early version of HDMI (1.1), which is incapable passing 3D auto-format data to a display. Any set top box without this feature requires the TV to be manually forced into the correct 3D mode, a process of multiple remote control button pushes each time you tune to a 3D channel.
Subscribers can call DirecTV at 1-800-531-5000 for box upgrade information.
4) An HDMI Cable- to connect between the compatible HD DirecTV set top box and your 3D TV. The DirecTV box’s component video output will not carry its 3D signal.
5) A DirecTV Subscription With The Latest Software- Once you have all the above, you will need to get the latest DirecTV software download. It is version 0x3e0 and will automatically download to your HD DirecTV receiver or DVR. To learn which version you have, go to “System and Test” under “Set Up” on the DirecTV on-screen menu. According to a DirecTV representative, the new software began downloading on 5/20/10. To date, HD Guru has not received the new version. Note: the legacy H20 and HR20 receivers will take the new software download but as stated above, will not send the 3D signal out of the box, resulting in a blank screen with a notice if you tune to 3D channel.
Stay tuned, we will review the new DirecTV 3D channels soon.
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