Time Warner Cable has put its foot in the 3-D TV ring and said Wednesday it will offer the upcoming Masters Tournament in 3-D. The golf event, which has the added publicity of Tiger Woods returning to the tournamnet, starts April 8.
Time Warner, however, will only offer the coverage on demand, unlike other cable providers Cox Communications and Comcast Corp. (see “Cox getting into 3-D; ESPN 3-D starts in June“). Those companies are offering viewers a mix of live 3-D broadcasts and on-demand coverage.
Offering 3-D broadcasts is a big step for cable companies, which are maxed out when it comes to channel capacity on existing cable lines. Hence, they tend to be behind the competition for the number of HD channels offered. While Cox is using switched digital video technology to convert some channels into a type of on-demand channel so they’re not broadcasting 24/7, Time Warner has been moving the space-hogging analog channels to digital.
Time Warner’s 3-D coverage will be available until April 30 to customers with a cable HD box and HDMI cord. But to get the full 3-D experience, consumers must also have a 3-D HDTV. (Read related story: “Should your next HDTV be 3-D?)
“We remain committed to bringing our customers not just the latest programming, but the most innovative ways to watch it. The Masters coverage and these viewing parties will provide a good test for the future rollout of 3-D TV in our footprint,” said Melinda Witmer, Executive Vice President of Programming for Time Warner Cable in a statement.
If you don’t have a special TV but were hoping to watch the game in 3D, Time Warner is hosting two private viewing parties. Looks like anyone can sneak in to the San Diego event. Here’s where to show up: The Country Club of Rancho Bernardo on Saturday, April, 10th, from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PST, at 12280 Greens East Rd, San Diego, CA 92128. More details at Time Warner’s site.
Previously on 3-D TVs: