Adding to the 3-D hullabaloo at the Consumer Electronics Show, DirecTV said it will be the first service provider to deliver 3-D TV, with the launch of service in June.
DirecTV has secured a license to use the RealD Format and associated 3-D technology patents. DirecTV's content providers will be able use RealD tools to format their 3-D content.
DirecTV said RealD Format content is compatible with its current HD satellite broadcast and on-demand systems. DirecTV said it can enable its existing HD set-top boxes to handle 3-D with a software upgrade.
The RealD Format is based on the company's patented, side-by-side 3-D formatting technology. DirecTV said it has chosen to use the side-by-side method as its primary method of delivering 3-D content due to its ability to deliver high-quality progressive and interlaced video over existing infrastructure, including existing HD set-top boxes and DVRs.
DirecTV will begin in June with three 3-D channels, with the possibility of more to follow.
At launch, the company will offer a 24/7 3-D pay-per-view channel focused on movies, documentaries and other programming, a 24/7 3-D on-demand channel and a free 3-D sampler demo channel featuring event programming such as sports, music and other content.
DirecTV said it is working with AEG/AEG Digital Media, CBS, Fox Sports/FSN, Golden Boy Promotions, HDNet, MTV, NBC Universal and Turner Broadcasting System to develop additional 3-D programming that will debut in 2010-11.
3-D TV maker Philips will be the “exclusive presenting sponsor” of DirecTV’s 3-D service. The sponsorship will feature Panasonic branding on all DirecTV 3-D channels for a one-year period.
Panasonic is also working to make available 3-D production tools, such as Full HD 3-D camcorders, professional monitors and related production technology assistance.