Looking to capitalize on the growing interest in 3D TV, Verizon says they will offer 3D service over FiOS TV this year, by the holiday buying season for sure. In their Verizon at Home blog, Jim Smith, director of media relations blogs, “Verizon’s network can easily handle the 3D signal, and we are committed to having a 3D offering later this year …”
In true ‘telecompetitive’ fashion, Smith jabs at the cable competition — “…you’ll see various grandstanding plays by cable companies who also produce content and can play it on their networks in 3D, hoping to make headlines with their “firsts” while excluding Verizon and other competitors from carrying this material.” He raises an interesting point. Will the current content access battles over SD and HD feeds become even more intense with 3D content? Will vertically integrated cable competitors (a la Comcast) look to offer exclusive 3D content over their cable networks, excluding telco and DBS competitors? Of course they will, as long as the rules allow it. Not that Verizon wouldn’t do the same thing, if they could. Discovery and ESPN have already committed to 3D TV networks.
Of course the other major 3D TV issue is bandwidth. I’ve seen estimates that a 3D TV feed will consume 35 – 40 Mbps — for one channel! Those numbers will come down I’m sure, but by how much? That leaves 3D TV to FTTH providers, DBS, and digitally upgraded cable plants. 3D TV for IPTV operators over DSL – good luck.
It’s a little premature to make bold predictions about 3D TV. Consumers are just adjusting to their HDTV investments. I don’t see a mad rush to now buy an even more expensive 3D TV – at least not en masse. Then of course, there’s those silly glasses.
It will be a while before this is an issue to seriously worry about for all video providers. But look for telecompetitors like Verizon that have the bandwidth horsepower to exploit 3D TV capabilities, no matter how small the market will be.