As interest in 3D television continues to gain momentum, apparently no one wants to be left out. No sooner had Verizon announced plans to broadcast New York Yankee and Seattle Mariners baseball games in 3D in July than digital media services provider Avail-TVN said it would launch a suite of 3D programming services by the end of 2010.
Avail-TVN’s offering will include 3D video on demand programming and two linear 3D channels. The linear channels will include what the company calls a pay per view channel offering movies, concerts, events and sports and a promotional channel offering features, documentaries, music and specialty programming aimed at enabling people to test the 3D television sets and glasses required for 3D viewing.
Avail-TVN said it is developing 3D service to work with its service provider customers’ existing infrastructure. The company said its 3D on-demand offerings will work with existing set-top boxes with minor software upgrades.
“Commercializing a scalable 3D service for the industry requires coordination between content producers, operators and technology vendors,” said Michael Kazmier, Avail-TVN chief technology officer, in the announcement. “Our focus has been to bring these partners together in an integrated fashion so that we can deliver a broad selection of 3D programming—transactional and free—for consumers to enjoy on their new 3D TVs.”
Some industry observers have expressed concerns about whether consumers will shell out $3,000 or so for a new 3D television just a short time after upgrading to HDTV. But that hasn’t stopped a range of operators and content providers from planning 3D offerings–including ESPN, DirecTV and others.