DIRECTV has announced that it has reduced the programming hours of n3D, its 3D satellite television channel, due to a lack of available content in 3D. Launched in July 2010, the channel was backed by Panasonic Corp., which said that n3D was the first channel to operate 24 hours a day in 3D. Less than two years after its launch, on June 1 of this year, it has been reduced to a part-time channel due to a dearth of 3D programs, which led to the same shows being run in a constant loop. Instead of that, now, when there is no original programming to air, the channel will simply show the n3D logo and details for upcoming events.
TV in 3D has had trouble attracting mainstream audiences. Last August, DIRECTV competitor AT&T U-Verse, also cut 3D programming from its lineup, getting rid of ESPN 3D since the low demand from consumers did not justify the cost. Even so, sales of 3D TVs are growing, accounting for 11 percent of TV sales over the beginning of 2012, nearly double the rate of sales in 2011.
Though programming will be limited on n3D, the DIRECTV satellite television channel will still air already existing programming, and will broadcast some Olympic events in 3D this summer. The channel is available to all DIRECTV subscribers, who need a 3D ready TV to be able to watch the programming in 3D.
With the amount of movies being shown in theaters in 3D, it’s only a matter of time before that type of content makes it to the home television in a majority of homes, but the technology is not there yet to make it as affordable as many consumers would like it to be. For now, 3D is the realm of movie theaters, and one of the few reasons to actually go to the theater to see a movie now that HD TV and Blu-Ray have made theater-quality home viewing not only possible but relatively affordable.