There’s not yet been a widespread embrace of 3D TV among consumers. The technology is still very new, the costs attached to it — both for the televisions themselves and the required glasses — remain prohibitive and many who have jumped from standard def to HD sets in the past four or five years are probably just not yet ready to invest in another technological leap forward. There are still those who have embraced the new format however, and cable provider Comcast wants to see to their needs.
The Philadelphia-based company announced in a press release that it will launch a 24-hour Xfinity 3D channel starting this Sunday, February 20. Programming will include live concert performances, sporting events, movies and original content. The new network will kick off at 6 p.m. ET with the 2011 Tim Horton’s NHL Heritage Classic, an outdoor showdown between the Montreal Canadiens and the Calgary Flames. The game will then be available via 3D On Demand starting the following day. Immediately after, at 8 p.m. ET, the channel will serve up a broadcast of Kings of Leon’s MTV World Stage performance in Hamburg, Germany.
Interestingly, that’s the only specific programming mentioned in the press release. Comcast promises to bring customers “movies documenting African safaris, haunted castles, the depths of the ocean, the surface of the sun, the age of dinosaurs and more, along with original programming that gives customers unique perspectives of events such as Chinese dragon dancing and rhythmic gymnastics.” Given the fact that the cable provider only recently launched its HBO 3D On Demand channel, it is likely that “premium” Hollywood films like Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Monsters Vs. Aliens will remain pay-per-view-only offerings for now.
There is also no mention of whether or not there will be an added charge for receiving the new network. The wise move would seem to be simply launching the channel for free and getting a sense of what the market will bear. With the relatively low penetration of 3D TVs in homes, this new Comcast station could serve as a testing ground to see how likely consumers are to tune in for programming simply because it is in 3D, which is something you can bet the company has considered as well.