Speculation that DIRECTVis going to introduce a 3D channel in 2010 has hit the internet in recent days. What will a 3D channel mean for DIRECTV? Is there a competitive edge to be had by being first to market with 3D technology for the home viewer?
The Consumer Electronics Show starts this Thursday, January 7th in Las Vegas, and rumor has it DIRECTV will officially unveil their 3D HD plans at the show. No doubt successful 3D movies like Avatar have DIRECTV and other cable and satellite players interested in home applications for this technology. Credit to HD Guru for breaking the story on the 3D HD channel from DIRECTV, which will certainly give the satellite provider a leg up when competing for customer business in 2010 and beyond.
DIRECTV seems to be taking a first to market approach to 3DTV, similar to their fast HDrollout in 2007 that gave them at least a temporary advantage in the high definition battle. DIRECTV was able to take that HD advantage and sign up millions of subscribers, all the while DISH Network lagged behind. Dish Network has caught and passed DIRECTV in the HD channel count battle, and recent subscriber number show more people signing up with Dish TV instead of DIRECTV.
One roadblock to the DIRECTV 3-D HD experience will be the need for new and expensive equipment. Another big expectation for this year’s Consumer Electronics Show will be the introduction of 3D HDTV’s by big manufacturers such as Sony, Panasonic, and Samsung. Mitsubishi has already been manufacturing 3D ready HDTV’s in anticipation of this new technology. While many LCD and plasma HDTV’s plunged well below the $1,000 dollar mark in 2009, the Mitsubishi 3D HDTV units start at around $1,500 and move up to $5,000 for the largest model, which comes in at a monstrous 82 inches. It will be interesting to see where new manufacturers of 3D HDTV ready models come in as far as pricing.
Beyond the actual viewing device, DIRECTV customers shouldn’t have to purchase any new equipment beyond the 3D glasses needed. A firmware upgrade to current DIRECTV HD DVR boxes will allow 3D content to be delivered to subscribers. Hopefully other questions like the potential subscriber cost and what 3D shows will be offered will be answered later this week at CES in Las Vegas.