Cable Show 2010: Avail-TVN To Swing Out 3DTV Services

Media distribution company Avail-TVN is hopping on the 3D bandwagon, with plans to deliver a suite of 3DTV programming -- including video-on-demand and two linear channels -- in the fourth quarter of 2010.

The company will offer operators access to transactional 3D VOD content, plus a companion free VOD service in stereoscopic 3D format.

In addition, Avail-TVN is planning two linear 3D channels: a transactional PPV channel offering movies, concerts, events and sports programming; and a free-to-consumer promotional 3D channel offering features, documentaries, music and specialty programming designed to give subscribers a taste of the third dimension. The free VOD content will be tied to the 3D linear channel.

That 3DTV lineup appears to be similar to the services DirecTV plans to introduce this June: a linear 3D channel, N3D, that will include sports, entertainment and music programmer; a 24/7 pay-per-view channel; and an on-demand movie channel. The satellite operator also announced it will provide ESPN 3D starting with the June 11 kickoff match of the FIFA World Cup. 

"Commercializing a scalable 3D service for the industry requires coordination between content producers, operators, and technology vendors," Avail-TVN chief technology officer Mike Kazmier said in a statement. "Our focus has been to bring these partners together in an integrated fashion so that we can deliver a broad selection of 3D programming -- transactional and free -- for consumers to enjoy on their new 3D TVs."

Avail-TVN said it is developing the 3D services to work with service providers' existing infrastructure. The company's 3D VOD service will work with existing set-top boxes with only "minor" software updates.