Discovery 3D 425

(May 17, 2010) 3D was the big news at last week’s National Cable TV Association show. ESPN, Discovery, Wealth TV and HD Net demonstrated their respective 3D content. Cable box makers Cisco and Motorola made 3D announcements as well. Here is a breakdown of the news.

Panasonic’s CTO Eisuke Tsuyuzaki stated his company plans to quickly transition to 3D HDTVs predicting 70% of its plasma TVs sold will be 3D capable by 2013 as well as 60% of its LED LCD TVs. This ramp-up is far quicker than the standard def to HDTV transition.

Panasonic announced today that new purchasers of any of its VT25 series 3D HDTVs will receive free by mail the Full HD 3D Blu-ray versions of the movies “Coraline” and “Ice Age 3-Dawn of the Dinosaurs.” For details, here is the link .

Motorola’s Bob Wilson said its current HD set top boxes and DVRs can play one-half resolution 3D (the type used to display The Masters Golf tournament in 3D). He predicted production of Motorola “Full HD 3D” cable boxes and DVRs within 18-24 months.

Cisco 425

Currently, you must set a 3D TV manually set for a 3D cablecast. A Cisco representative said that a firmware download coming this August will allow automatic 3D TV configuration for subscribers using its 8652 HDC series cable boxes.  He added legacy Cisco (Scientific-Atlanta) 8300 series HD boxes and DVRs can’t be updated for auto 3D because they use an earlier version of HDMI. Auto 3D set-up requires version HDMI 1.3 (or higher).

HD Net showed clips from its upcoming 3D broadcasts. Samples included Bikini Destinations 3D as well as Girls Gone Wild 3D or what we call “Jiggle 3D” along with clips of a Mavericks basketball game in 3D. An HD Net spokesman told HD Guru they are building up a 3D library. No date as to when its 3D broadcasts will start airing.

Wealth TV president Charles Henning told HD Guru it is creating its own library of 3D content, which currently consists of over 10 hours of programs. Herring said he intends to launch 3D broadcasts within 30-45 days, showing one hour per evening on its high definition Wealth TV channel. The channel is available on Verizon FIOS, AT&T, RCN and other cable systems. Here is a link to the list.

To create additional Wealth TV 3D content, Henning has hired legendary HD videographer Randall Dark.

ESPN displayed extreme sports 3D clips in its booth and announced a June 11th launch of ESPN3D on DirecTV and Comcast. The first broadcasts will be soccer games from the 2010 World Cup.

Discovery provided clips from its upcoming 3D channel. A Discovery spokesman said Discovery 3D’s launch will be either late 2010 or early 2011.

YES, the New York Yankees network, announced last week it will air the first 3D baseball games. The broadcasts from Seattle feature the Yankees vs. the Mariners on July 10 and July 11. The programs are available to customers in the YES footprint which includes New York, Connecticut and parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania as well as FSN Northwest’s territory of Washington, Oregon, Alaska and parts of Idaho and Montana. To date, Verizon FIOS and DirecTV are the only systems that will carry 3D games, however YES says it is in talks with other cable operators.

Have a question for the HD Guru?

Copyright ©2010 HD Guru Inc. All rights reserved. HDGURU is a registered trademark. The content and photos within may not be distributed electronically or copied mechanically without specific written permission. The content within is based upon information provided to the editor, which is believed to be reliable. Data within is subject to change. HD GURU is not responsible for errors or omissions.