DirecTV prepping 3D HDTV channel for early 2010

By on December 29, 2009, 10:10 PM
Citing unnamed sources, HD Guru reports that DirecTV will introduce the first US 3D HDTV channel early next year, and an official announcement is expected from the company at CES next month. Last night the TV provider launched a new satellite into orbit, which will provide the bandwidth to add a high-def 3D channel.

Exact details of the channel aren't available, but HD Guru suspects it will host an assortment of movies, sports and other programs, and will comply with current 3D TV standards. DirecTV's current HDTV boxes will reportedly receive a firmware update, so existing customers should be able to use the channel when it debuts -- if you have a 3D-ready television, of course.

2010 is truly is shaping up to be the year of 3D, with dozens of electronics manufacturers racing to the market with extra-dimensional gadgets. Is it just me, or does this shift feel forced? Will you be shopping for a 3D-capable TV any time soon?




User Comments: 19

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Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

I wasn't aware that they had come out with a standard for 3d.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Uh, no. Not interested in 3D anything right now. As long as I have to sit with goofy looking glasses looking at fuzzy images - ain't gonna happen for me.

Guest said:

I wonder why you say fuzzy--this is HD we're talking about after all. If 1080p is blurry, then you have the eyes of the likes of Zeus (or you're overdue for the optometrist).

Second, I'm all for 3D. Coraline and Avatar both proved it for me that things look a lot better when you have depth perception. And glasses are a small price to pay to see things like that. (Considering that I've been wearing glasses since 2nd grade.)

..That's not to say I'm splurging on a 3D-ready TV just yet, but certainly I don't think it's a step in the wrong direction.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I still think HD is a fad and hadn't upgraded my SD TV set yet!

Saw Avatar in 3D. The glasses were about as comfortable as stone underwear. I couldn't find a way to wear them without fidgeting with them for the whole film. I also didn't appreciate that a small percentage of the film's brightness and color seemed to be lost due to the glasses.

I second TomSEA on the fuzzy call. The 3D effect loses some sharpness in the picture. I'm not sure if this is a problem with the glasses or the size of the iMax screen that I was viewing Avatar at, but the edges of the screen were fuzzy - especially in areas of the film where they're focusing the depth on specific characters. I sat in the horizontal center of the theater about 1 row above the screen's vertical center line. Which should have been ideal.

I'll trade them 3D for higher Ultra HD or 1080p60 at the least. Blu-Ray's 1080p24 sucks.

Timonius Timonius said:

Guest said:

I wonder why you say fuzzy--this is HD we're talking about after all.

Try taking off the glasses and you'll see the fuzz. That is the problem with current '3D' technology. You either have to wear the glasses or watch a fuzzy screen. It doesn't matter if it is 1080p or 1,000,000p.

I already wear glasses and would appreciate not wearing 3D glasses over my glasses. It ultimately makes for uncomfortable viewing. Also I have friends who get headaches if they are watching more than an hour and a half or so.

If the tv's are capable of showing the 3D without the glasses then I'm all in! But somehow I doubt that is going to happen anytime soon.

Don't get me wrong I love 3D stuff (especially at the Imax! WOW!). What we have right now is pretty good. It just needs a more natural 'deilvery' system.

windmill007 said:

When they come out with 3D without glasses I might buy a new set. Until then I might catch a 3D flix once in awhile at the movie theater. I saw Avatar and it was pretty cool but I wouldn't want to watch 3D like that to often.

Guest said:

I would upgrade to a 3d set if I can afford to when the time comes. For now, I will stick with my HDTV.

@9nail: You have serious issues with technology man...stop living in SD and move to HD.... and the fad is far more superior than your caveman SD. When you can afford an HDTV then your views will be different I hope for your sake. lol

Recycle said:

FYI: I am 'Guest' From 12/29 11:29PM

9Nails said:

[...] I also didn't appreciate that a small percentage of the film's brightness and color seemed to be lost due to the glasses.

I second TomSEA on the fuzzy call. The 3D effect loses some sharpness in the picture. I'm not sure if this is a problem with the glasses or the size of the iMax screen that I was viewing Avatar at, but the edges of the screen were fuzzy - especially in areas of the film where they're focusing the depth on specific characters. I sat in the horizontal center of the theater about 1 row above the screen's vertical center line. Which should have been ideal.

A valid point, but I think this is only the case for polarized glasses and not shutter glasses--but I haven't used the latter, so I don't know.

I definitely agree that the edges were a problem, perhaps it's simply the size of the IMAX?

Timonius said:

Guest said:

I wonder why you say fuzzy--this is HD we're talking about after all.

Try taking off the glasses and you'll see the fuzz. That is the problem with current '3D' technology. You either have to wear the glasses or watch a fuzzy screen. It doesn't matter if it is 1080p or 1,000,000p.

I already wear glasses and would appreciate not wearing 3D glasses over my glasses. It ultimately makes for uncomfortable viewing. Also I have friends who get headaches if they are watching more than an hour and a half or so.

Can't think of a way for only, say, half the audience to watch a 2D film and the other half watch 3D on the same screen, it could only be done with glasses for everyone.

The theatre I saw Avatar at had nice cushioned polarized glasses and I didn't notice them at all through the movie. As I've said above, I haven't worn shutter glasses, but they are bulkier and I imagine more uncomfortable.

I have a friend who gets sick playing FPSs. This means nothing for the market.

All in all, I agree with you that there are flaws, but until someone develops a better system, I think it's alright to push what we have now.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest said:

@9nail: You have serious issues with technology man...stop living in SD and move to HD.... and the fad is far more superior than your caveman SD. When you can afford an HDTV then your views will be different I hope for your sake. lol

I got nothing wrong with spending some cash. But my problem is - on what?! Sets these days are a few grand for the good stuff. And I have a 15' viewing distance from the couch, so I'm looking in the 60+" range - upgrading won't be cheap for me so I wont be doing it twice!

Plasma sets has a lifespan issue, backlight displays (LCD, DLP, etc) have expensive bulbs to be replaced with a lifespan issue, Laser never amounted to anything. I want a set to last 20 years like the one I'll be replacing, so where's that technology? Also, there's a problem with identifying what is "HD". Some channels are broadcasting in 720, others in 1080. If I get a set that stretches out (up samples) a 720 images onto a 1080 screen the image is slightly blurry. Same blurriness story is applied to watching my DVD library and any SD stations. And then there's the problem with updating firmware and Blu-Ray and all the cables involved in that fiasco. Finally, today's issue, it appears that a set needs to support 3D...

When will the madness end? -that's the point when I can leap out of my cave and buy something.

Guest said:

@9Nails:

The "madness" will never ends.... If it does, then the world comes to an abrupt end. To be on techspot means you're a tech-man or an aspiring one, sorry if i sounded harsh earlier...but technology changes by the second, as with computers, if you wait for the next big bad super-fast parts before you build your next rig, then you will never get in the game. I wonder if you were this meticulous (not that it's a bad thing) when buying your SD set?

JudaZ said:

3D TV ? ..nope seriousy not interested at all.

Buying a TV for a lot of money, when there is almost nothing to watch on it? ... whats the point?

If it takes of and if they can actually produce the content with good quality that dont require googles... then maybe... .but they are not even close to that yet.

Tried 3D glasses for gaming a while back ... wears out your eyes and you get a headache.. .....a crap movie like Avatar gave me a headache anyways, dont need crap glasses to make it even worse. I'll rater have a bottle of whiskey

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

I hope this works with GeForce 3D Vision. Very exciting. 3D is infinitely better than HD.

tengeta tengeta said:

I can see the really annoying song for their next commercial... but I'll spare everyone the pain.

LightHeart said:

3D is cool in the right circumstances but I don't think it's quite ready for prime time. Heck I still have old CRT TVs that work great and look fine.

KyBrewer said:

I can't imagine extended exposure being good for someone's eyes. Anyone know of any studies?

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest said:

@9Nails:

The "madness" will never ends.... If it does, then the world comes to an abrupt end. To be on techspot means you're a tech-man or an aspiring one, sorry if i sounded harsh earlier...but technology changes by the second, as with computers, if you wait for the next big bad super-fast parts before you build your next rig, then you will never get in the game. I wonder if you were this meticulous (not that it's a bad thing) when buying your SD set?

No hard feelings here. I understand what you saying completely. And as a TechSpot reader in my perspective, sometimes knowing what is coming down the pipeline is reason enough not to buy a product. So there's always a struggle from my point of view of when to buy and what can I do without.

SD was pretty stable and mature since the 1990's. So for the last 20 years or so, you could buy a set just based on appropriate size, and it would seemingly come with all the interfaces and features that you might need/want. And SD was much more affordable than HD. So, to answer, no I wasn't as meticulous back then - but I recognized that I didn't need to be. Going back 10 years past that to the 1980's, yes - I was more careful about selection.

It seems that something new comes out every 3 years to these expensive HD sets, rendering the previous generation obsolete. (720p vs 1080i / conflicting broadcasting standards, 1080p for Blu-Ray, HDMI input, 3D ready, Super HDTV...) Far too quickly for my cash.

I can always throw in more memory, disks, and GPU's in a 3 yr old $2,000 PC computer to extend it's life. It's easy for me to justify this purchase. But I can't throw in upgrades to a $2,000 HD set. So this purchase is one that I fret over.

Guest said:

No, it doesn't feel forced. In fact, it's overdue. I have stopped buying movies in 2D that were released in 3D..

Timonius wrote:

Quote:Guest said:

I wonder why you say fuzzy--this is HD we're talking about after all.

Try taking off the glasses and you'll see the fuzz. That is the problem with current '3D' technology. You either have to wear the glasses or watch a fuzzy screen. It doesn't matter if it is 1080p or 1,000,000p.

Sorry, Timonius, but that is an overly broad statement which is true ONLY with the LCD shutter technology. The high-end C/Y anaglyph leaves the image sharp and with an almost imperceptible blue/yellow fringing.

For those of you complaining about the 3D glasses at the theater, don't go to the cheapo theaters that are using the polarized glasses. Go to a theater that is using the C/Y anaglyph system and you'll find the experience much more pleasant. And YES, I wear glasses behind those 3D glasses and they were never uncomfortable to me.

By the way, if you happen to look at the Hz being advertised on the new flat screen televisions, you'll see they are happily touting 120Hz and even 240Hz. Those aren't for your normal viewing pleasure, folks. It's for the upcoming 3D wave of products designed to bring the 3D experience into your home. And if you are one of the lucky few to get an LED television, get yourself the C/Y system if you can.

Guest said:

I did some on-line research and saw Avatar in the DLP 3D theater, skipping the IMAX version, precisely because the on-line reviews and explanations indicated that the IMAX version, based upon analog technology, had problems with fuzziness. The digital version of Avatar in the DLP theater seemingly (to me) did not. If you have the time and money, try out both versions of Avatar and see for yourself.

My problem with home theatre 3D technology is that there are too many competing/different standards. We have shutter glasses, circular polarization, and horizontal polarization, just to mention glasses technologies. There are the analog IMAX version, a digital DLP version, and at least two competing versions of plasma/LCD HDTV 3D.

I held off on buying a Blu-Ray player until the competing standard was vanquished by movie studio adoption. As far as I know, Panasonic has the only movie studio tie-in going, so I would consider its home 3D system to be the leading contender. But until everybody else falls in line, I won't be spending any of my hard-earned dollars!

Guest said:

@ 9Nails: The madness will end on December 21st 2012 when the world will come to and end. May God save your soul and do not spend more money on TV, you need to party like it is 2012, that's what you need to do with your money.

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