3D Service From Your Provider
Over 100 million homes are capable today to receive a 3D program - so it is likely to include yours. If you have a 3D HDTV, ordering service is as easy as contacting your cable, satellite or telco provider and letting them know you have a 3D HDTV.
There are two satellite providers who have officially launched 3D service: DirecTV in the U.S. and BSkyB in the U.K. and Ireland. To access the 3D signal DIRECTV customers will need to have an HD DVR (H21 or above) or an HD receiver (H21 or above) and HD Access. Customers most likely received these boxes when they registered for HD service. Check with your satellite provider for more detailed information.
Cable Providers in the
with 3D Channels
- Time Warner
- Cox Communications
Teleco Providers in the US
with 3D Channels
(coming soon: international 3D delivery via local cable services)
According to most cable operators, if you already have a cable box with an HDMI output (as is the case with most high definition cable packages) you will not need a new cable box to get 3D content on your TV. A simple firmware upgrade is all you need.
Cable operators constantly explore the opportunities to license 3D content and to make it available to their customers. Most cable operators, especially the ones listed below, plan to more widely deliver a 3D video experience starting in late 2010, as more 3D content becomes available, and as customers adopt the new 3D display technologies required to enjoy 3D programming.
Cable operators have been planning and testing 3D channels for several years to ensure a seamless delivery to customers. Planning included understanding equipment and format needs for 3D as well as determining standards for closed captioning, subtitles, programming guides, and many other details that have become standard practices in 2D programming.
Over-The-Air or With an Antenna
As of October, 2010, anaglyph broadcasts are the only 3D broadcasts possible to receive over an antenna. Advanced digital 3D is not possible yet, as the standards for transmission are yet to be defined by the American Television Standards Committee (U.S.), Digital Video Broadcast (DVB – Europe) and other standards bodies around the world – but they are working on them.
Testing for the best methods of transmission and compression of the 3D signals has been taking place since early-2010 and initial transmission is expected in the 2011-2012 timeframe. It is anticipated that the consumer with a 3D-enabled TV will be able to receive a transmission over their antenna, exactly how they receive an HD signal now. The question is which over-the-air networks will broadcast in 3D.
Set Top Box Changes
Besides your 3DTV you will need a digital cable or satellite HD set-top box (STB) and be a subscriber to a cable or satellite service providing 3D content. You may also need an additional HDMI cable (HDMI 1.4, see above) to run between your set top box and television. Once connected you may need to contact your service provider to allow 3D viewing. Using your remote, set your output resolution to 1080i and then tune into the program you wish to watch.
Making 3D TV Programs