3D Programming in Dish Network and DirecTV

3D TV, an emerging technology, enables subscribers to watch three-dimensional movies, TV shows, games and others in their homes. DirecTV and Dish Network delivers 3D content to their subscribers. DirecTV is the first TV service provider, ever in history of the world, to deliver 3D TV service to their subscribers.

This article explains about 3D programming in Dish and DirecTV.

3D Programming in DirecTV

Equipment and Connections:

Subscribers of DirecTV require a 3D HDTV, an HD or HD DVR receiver, an HD Access, an HDMI cable and a pair of active shutter 3D glasses to watch 3D programming. DirecTV provides HD or HD DVR receiver and HD Access. HD Access service is rendered for a regular monthly subscription price. DirecTV recommends to have the following models of 3D TVs.

  • Panasonic: TC-P54VT25
  • Panasonic: TC-P58VT25
  • Panasonic: TC-P65VT25

To be able to watch 3D programming, subscribers should connect using HDMI cables, the DirecTV Plus® HD or HD DVR (H21 and HR21 and above series models) with HD Access to a qualifying 3D TV. Most of 3D TVs available in market can detect a 3D signal and will display 3D programming accordingly. However, in some cases, subscribers need to program 3D viewing mode using the remote control of the TV. For this, subscribers should follow the steps given below.

  • Find and bring the TV Guide by clicking on the “Guide” button.
  • Press on the Yellow button on remote to bring up the Guide options
  • Select “Sort programs by category”, the first option listed
  • Scroll down and select “3D” as an option

3D Channels and Programming:

DirecTV broadcasts lots of 3D programming to subscribers. DirecTV Cinema, n3D powered by Panasonic, ESPN 3D, 3net are 3D channels available in DirecTV satellite service.

DirecTV Cinema, the pay-per-view option, available on channel number 104 and 105 deliver 3D movies, documentaries and others. Here subscribers can catch the latest Hollywood 3D blockbusters. Subscribers can also record 3D movies in HD DVR that expires 24 hours after subscribers have begun to watch. But subscribers require a broadband internet connection to watch different 3D movies from DirecTV Cinema.

The channel named n3D powered by Panasonic is available on channel number 103 for all round the clock. It delivers variety 3D programs such as movies, TV shows, movies and sports from AEG/AEG Digital Media, CBS, Fox Sports/FSN, Golden Boy Promotions, HDNet, MTV, NBC Universal, and Turner Broadcasting System.

ESPN 3D is another great 3D sports channel accessible on channel number 106 on DirecTV. The channels gives coverage of prominent sports events throughout the world. The channel kicked off its first broadcast with the extensive coverage of 2010 FIFA World Cup match, played between South Africa and Mexico. Subscribers could access up to 25 World Cup matches on ESPN 3D. Apart from this, the channel rendered broadcast of 2010 college football ACC Championship. The 2011 BCS Championship game, College basketball and NBC games 2011 are in the channel’s upcoming 3D lineups.

3net is also a 3D channel available in DirecTV. And DirecTV is the first TV service to televise this channel throughout the United States. The channel, delivered on channel number 107, deliver programs for 24/7. This channel is a joint venture network of Sony Corporation, Discovery communications, and IMAX Corporation. It primarily features native 3D originals, unprecedented rollout of originals in 3D, new program debuts and many more.

Apart from the above 3D programs, DirecTV is working on different strategies to bring in more 3D programming in the year 2011.

DirecTV subscribers can record all 3D content on their HD DVR. 3D pay-per-view movies will be retained by the DVR for 24 hours after subscribers have begun to watch them.

Upgrade to 3D:

In order to upgrade to 3D from a regular package, subscribers just need to upgrade to HD service. To do this, subscribers need to sign in to directv.com/my account, click on “high-definition”, click on “Activate Now” and follow the instructions to complete the order. Subscribers can also activate this by calling DirecTV.

Resolution Format:

DirecTV delivers 3D HD programming. The different 3D broadcasts in DirecTV are delivered in 1080p resolution format. However in some programs the resolution format may slightly differ.

3D Programming in Dish Network:

Equipment and Connections:

Dish Network subscribers, to access 3D programming require a 3D HDTV, a pair of an active shutter 3D glasses, ViP 922 HD DVR (3D-compatible HD DVR) and High-speed HDMI cables(10.2 Gbps or higher). Dish Network recommends subscribers to have the latest 3D TVs and compatible 3D glasses available in market. Subscribers should use the HDMI cables to connect the 3DTV with the ViP 922 HD DVR to access 3D programming.

3D TVs can ususally detect a 3D input and 3D signals and deliverd different 3D programs accordingly. However, in case of some 3D TVs, subscribers should themselves enable the 3D viewing mode by turning on the 3D display mode using the remote of the TV.

3D Channels and Programming:

Dish Network delivers 3D content via Video On Demand. Subscribers can go through the list of various 3D movies available as Video On Demand and select one they wish to watch. The movies can be accessed for small reasonable price. Video On Demand content is available on channel number 1 and 501 of Dish Network.

Apart from Video On Demand movies, Dish Network has plans to render more 3D programming to subscribers. Prominent among them will be sports broadcasts.

Upgrade to 3D:

In order to upgrade to 3D from regular package, subscribers just need have HD programming. for this they have to log on My Account of dishnetwork.com and follow instructions accordingly.

Resolution Format:

Dish Network delivers 3D HD programming. It supports 720p, 1080i and 1080p 3D resolution format.

3D Programming: Dish Network Vs DirecTV

From the assessment of 3D programming available in Dish Network and DirecTV, it is pretty clear that DirecTV delivers more 3D content than Dish Network. Subscribers of DirecTV can access amazing blend of 3D programs including movies, documentaries, sports, native originals and many more. Sports fans can access popular sports events in awesome 3D on ESPN 3D and n3D. Movies from old favorites to latest Hollywood hits are available in DirecTV Cinema. On the contrary, Dish Network delivers only Video On Demand 3D movies for small price. There are no sports broadcasts delivered by Dish Network in 3D format. Also, apart from DirecTV Cinema, the other 3D channels of DirecTV are rendered for free. 3D movies from DirecTV Cinema can be accessed for a small reasonable price. Video on Demand 3D movies can be accessed for a small price per movie.

From various explanation and comparison mentioned above, it can be concluded that DirecTV is the satellite TV service that renders bulk of 3D content from movies, music, documentaries to sports. Though Dish Network has been working on to introduce more 3D programs but in present time it is only DirecTV that renders the most of 3D content. If subscribers want to watch most 3D programs then they should opt DirecTV.

Finally here is a brief account on 3D display technology.

How 3D TV works:

To watch 3D programming, the basic requirement is a 3D TV, HD receiver and a pair of active shutter 3D glasses. Many a times there arises confusion between 3D TV and HDTV. 3D TVs are advanced version of HDTVs that support 3D programming. These advanced versions of HDTVs (such as Panasonic Full HD 3D) come with built-in 3D display technology. But not all HDTVs can support 3D programming in the real sense. High-definition TV delivers pictures with maximum clarity and 3D TV in conjunction with 3D glasses renders depth of pictures. 2D programming are accessible in 3D TVs. Subscribers with a 3D TV can also switch between 2D and 3D programming as required. Some LCDs, LEDs, DLP’s and Plasma models of TV sets support 3D programs. Subscribers should have the 3D TV sets as recommended by their satellite TV service provider.

The three-dimensional television concept is basically based on perceiving the same image separately by the left and the right eye. In 3D videos, subscribers can see depth of different images in it. One can see depth when images from left and right eyes merge into one image. To create this impression, a 3D TV works in sync with the cative shutter 3D glasss. A 3D TV refreshes the image at least 120 times a second with alternating frames for the left and the right eye. This image is received by special active shutter glass that acts as a shutter and the left and right lenses are blocked alternatively in a synchronized manner so that each eye sees the frame meant for it. The whole action occurs so quickly that it tricks the brain to see one merged image, the three-dimensional picture. The two separate image come up with one 3D picture in mind.

The 3D TV is synchronized with the shutter glasses via infra-red or RF technology. The shutter glass contain liquid crystal that becomes dark on receiving appropriate signal from the TV allowing only one eye see an image.


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