New York - DirecTV and sponsoring partner Panasonic formally threw the switch here Thursday on the satellite-TV provider's first 3D TV channel suite including "n3D", which is a 24/7 linear non-anaglyph 3D channel.
As the exclusive sponsoring partner for the 3D channels, Powered by Panasonic is featured prominently in the new 3D service's branding.
Panasonic is using the sponsorship to play up its "end-to-end" 3D efforts ranging from new Panasonic professional 3D video cameras for broadcasters to 3D Blu-ray Disc encoding support for movie studios to delivery of some of the industry's first 3D FullHD plasma TV sets and Blu-ray players in stores now.
Programming appears on channels 103, 104 and 105 on the DirecTV platform and together will feature a mix of sports, movies and family-centric entertainment at no extra charge on DirecTV's HDTV programming tier.
DirecTV will be presenting content in 1080p resolution although some content may be delivered at different resolution levels, the company said.
DirecTV senior VP Steven Roberts said channel 103 carries "n3D," which offers 24/7 linear programming. Top programming will be offered initially at prime time hours. On weekends it will feature children-oriented fare switching to more adult-oriented programming in the evenings, Roberts said.
Through the month of July, n3D will carry 3D programming including "Guitar Center Sessions with Peter Gabriel and Jane's Addiction"; "Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia"; "Wild Safari: A South African Adventure"; and N Wave Picture's "S.O.S. Planet," "African Adventure: Safari in the Okavango" and "Encounter in the Third Dimension."
Channel 104 carries DirecTV Cinema in 3D, offering pay-per-view content starting with IMAX titles "Deep Sea 3D" and "Under the Sea 3D."
Channel 105 carries n3D On Demand, which currently offers replays of ESPN's 3D coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer matches. DirecTV originally carried ESPN 3D on June 11 on channel 106.
Roberts said DirecTV will emphasize family-centric content much of the time. Supplying partners include: CBS, AEG, Fox Sports, HDNet, NBCU, Turner, MTV, Golden Boy Productions and ESPN.
DirecTV will also be among multichannel video providers carrying the first-ever Major League Baseball games in 3D. On July 10 and 11, the New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners will air in 3D from Safeco Field, for viewers living in the New York and Seattle areas.