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CES: DirecTV to offer all-3-D satellite TV channels to home viewers

A worker makes adjustments to the Panasonic booth at the Consumer Electronics Show, where DirecTV and Panasonic announced a partnership to offer all-3D satellite channels. Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.
The prospects for 3-D TV took a major step forward today with a joint announcement from DirecTV and Panasonic that three all-3-D satellite channels will launch by June.

The three channels will be made available to DirecTV’s HDTV subscribers, bringing movies, TV shows and live events to homes in 3-D.

A Panasonic executive said pricing has not been set. But at least one of the channels would be made available to the subscribers at no additional cost. The two companies have formed a strategic partnership to create the channels.

One of the major barriers for 3-D TV has been a lack of content. In December, a standard was announced for 3-D Blu-ray machines to make it practical for movies to be issued in the format.

But this is the first announcement by a U.S. content provider that it would bring a steady supply of 3-D to its customers. One of the first live sports events to be shown on the 3-D channel will be the Major League Baseball All-star game this summer, according to a DirecTV official.

To view 3-D programming at home, viewers will need specially equipped television sets. Panasonic, which has been at the forefront of bringing 3-D to living rooms, will be offering 3-D enabled sets and Blu-ray players.

Of course, 3-D glasses will be needed to view the channels.

-- David Colker

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