Take a day off, miss some big 3D news. DirecTV offered us an update yesterday on one of its upcoming 3D TV channels. We knew ESPN 3D was coming, but now we know when: June 11. More notably, Cox Communications plans to air the upcoming Masters Tournament for all customers who have an HD receiver. That makes Cox the first cable TV provider in Orange County to make some sort of commitment to 3D.
Let’s start with Cox. The cable company will air the Masters Tournament next week from Augusta National Golf Club beginning Wednesday, April 7 (yes, that’s the event where we will all see Tiger Wood’s return to the sport). There will be two hours a day of live coverage, starting at 1 or 2 p.m, our time. The same coverage will also be available on demand (go to channel 1). If you’re not an eligible Cox subscriber, you can also view the 3D coverage at Masters.com if you have a 3D-compatible computer.
What will you see? “Viewers will be better able to depict the many subtleties and elevation changes of the course’s grounds,” says Cox.
The interesting note is that Cox is a cable company. And cable companies have complained about not having enough space to air more HD channels. Companies are tweaking the technology and playing with available bandwidth in order to squeeze more HD into a customer’s house. Cox, for example, has turned some regular TV channels into on-demand only so that they are not broadcasting 24/7. When a customer wants to view the channel, it starts airing as if it were broadcasting 24/7.
Comcast, the nation’s largest cable provider, is also airing the Masters Tournament in 3D. Here’s a good explanation about how Comcast is doing 3D by Engadget, “Comcast’s 3D Masters broadcast explained.”