DirecTV Downgrades Its 3D Channel To Part-Time Status

In a sign 3DTV hasn't taken off as quickly as some in the industry hoped, DirecTV earlier this month shifted n3D, its 24-hour linear 3D channel originally sponsored by Panasonic, to a part-time special events channel.

However, the satellite operator said, it continues to carry two 24-hour linear 3D networks -- ESPN 3D and 3net, from Discovery Communications, Sony and IMAX -- and will provide NBCUniversal's 3D programming for this summer's 2012 Summer Olympic Games from London.

DirecTV change to n3D was reported Thursday by Consumer Reports.

"While 3D adoption continues to grow and more programming is being developed, DirecTV has decided to move n3D to a part-time channel," DirecTV said in a statement.

DirecTV has aimed to be the leading provider of 3DTV in the U.S. Launched in July 2010, the n3D channel provided a mix of event and original fare, including sporting events, concerts and documentaries. The operator continues to offer 3D movies and other programming on its DirecTV Cinema pay-per-view service.

According to DirecTV's website, the n3D channel will not have any programs through at least next Tuesday.

The n3D channel changed to part-time earlier effective June 1, according to DirecTV spokesman Robert Mercer.

NBCU is offering U.S. affiliates more than 200 hours of 3D Olympic coverage in partnership with Panasonic. Cable, satellite and telco TV providers who receive the Olympics package may distribute the 3D broadcasts via the Comcast Media Center.

The 3D Olympic telecasts will be produced by the International Olympic Committee's Olympic Broadcasting Services and shown on next-day delay in the U.S. Coverage is set to include the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, gymnastics, diving and swimming.