Satellite TV Provider DIRECTV Gears Up for 3D

At the April 2010 NAB show in Las Vegas, satellite TV provider DIRECTV demoed its new 3D-video delivery system set to launch in June 2010 using Harmonic's Electra encoders. DIRECTV demonstrated the delivery with Panasonic Viera Full HD 3DTVs. Under an agreement made between the companies, Panasonic will be the exclusive sponsor for the first year for the new 3DTV channels.

 At the time of the demonstration, the satellite TV provider reported it would add three dedicated channels, including ESPN 3D. Some individuals who keep tabs on the industry believe the new channels may be the boost DIRECTV needs to stay in front of its main competitor, Dish Network. In 2007, DIRECTV gained a boost in subscribers by rolling out more high definition (HD) channels than Dish.  

 As part of its satellite TV service, DIRECTV already uses Harmonic encoders. Since 2007, Harmonic has delivered video encoders like the Electra 8000 to the company. According to Romulo Pontual, the chief technology officer, "Harmonic is a trusted solution provider for DIRECTV, with outstanding solutions including the Electra encoders which not only enable us to efficiently deliver excellent quality HD, but also can flexibly support new applications such as 3D." The new 3D system will allow current HD customers to upgrade their set-top boxes with software to allow them access to 3D channels.

 In order to experience true 3D quality, subscribers with satellite TV providers will need a TV capable of displaying the frame-compatible format for it. Several TV manufacturers including Samsung and Sony are already selling 3D-ready plasma TVs. Based on reports from Panasonic, it would seem consumers are ready for the new technology; Panasonic sold out during its launch of the Viera 3D. Viewers will also need 3D glasses, which may come free with the purchase of a 3D TV.
Satellite TV Provider DIRECTV Gears Up for 3D Satellite TV Provider DIRECTV Gears Up for 3D Reviewed by Unknown on 5:03 PM Rating: 5

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