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AT&T U-verse, Blue Ridge Take Starz's 3D VOD

AT&T U-verse and midsize cable operator Blue Ridge Communications have signed on to offer Starz's 3D video-on-demand package, which currently provides four movies in the format from Walt Disney Co. and Sony Pictures Entertainment to the premium network's subscribers.

Those affiliates join Comcast and Verizon FiOS TV, which began carrying Starz 3D VOD titles earlier this spring.

Starz 3D on demand currently offers Step Up 3, Alice in Wonderland, Toy Story 3 and Disney's A Christmas Carol. Scheduled to come soon to the service in 3D format are Tangled, Tron: Legacy and Gnomeo & Juliet, while titles pegged for early 2012 include Mars Needs Moms, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Cars 2.

HBO, for its part, debuted 3D VOD movies in January, with Comcast and Verizon.

To view the movies, subscribers need a 3D television set as well as compatible glasses.

Over the past 18 months, 3DTV sales have largely been a disappointment for consumer-electronics manufacturers, after the wave of hype and high expectations that crested during the CES 2010 show. The Consumer Electronics Association last week issued a more bullish forecast for 2011 for 3D displays, projecting 3.6 million 3DTVs will ship in the U.S. in 2011, up from January's forecast of 1.9 million units.

AT&T counted 3.4 million IPTV subscribers as of the end of June. Palmerton, Pa.-based Blue Ridge provides service in northeastern and southeastern Pennsylvania. It has about 170,000 basic cable subscribers.