Cablevision has licensed the RealD's 3D technology, which the cable operator will be using in tonight's NHL game between the Rangers and Islanders at Madison Square Garden.

Last week Cablevision trumped Comcast and DirecTV when it announced that the NHL matchup would be the first in the nation to do an HD 3D television broadcast.

In order to enable 3D shows and events, Cablevision's content providers will use RealD's 3D tools to format their 3D content and deliver it to homes in HD 3D. Specifically, Cablevision has liscensed the stereoscopic RealD Format, which works with its current HD broadcast and on-demand systems as well as its deployed base of HD set-top boxes.

In addition to the HD set-top boxes, Cablevision's digital subscribers will also need 3D-enabled TV sets and 3D glasses. Cablevision is also hosting a viewing party at the Theater at Madison Square Garden using the RealD Format for content delivery and RealD's XL Cinema System for projection on a big screen.

"3D content in the home is the next frontier in premium entertainment and we look forward to providing our customers with an unmatched 3D experience in cooperation with RealD," said Jim Blackley, Cablevision's senior vice president of engineering and technology. "We've been extensively testing the RealD Format and believe it is the highest quality and most broadly compatible method for delivering 3D video to our customers."

The RealD Format builds on the company's patented side-by-side 3D formatting technology. Cablevision said it picked the side-by-side method as its primary method of delivering 3D content due to its ability to deliver high-quality progressive and interlaced video over existing infrastructure including existing HD set-top boxes and DVRs.

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