Playstation 3D

Watching the 2012 London Olympics in 3D

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A while back, Panasonic and NBC made it official that 242 hours of the 2012 Olympics in London will be broadcast in 3D. While the 3D will be on a 24-hour tape delay and not live, this is great news for us who bought a 3D TV and want to put it through the motions.

One questions that’s been burning on my mind is whether the 3D broadcast of the Olympics will be free. DIRECTV customers can be confident that there’s a 99% chance they’ll get the 3D programming for free. And since Comcast owns NBC, Comcast customers will naturally be getting pretty good access.

But for customers of Verizon FIOS, Cablevision iOTV, and AT&T U-Verse, will we be getting the opportunity to see the Olympics in 3D? I have no inside information (in fact, something tells me they haven’t even decided yet, even though the Olympics will be starting in a few weeks on July 27), but I have a good feeling that yes, we will be able. Here’s my thinking:

  • For the last two years Verizon FIOS has been broadcasting the US Open tennis tournament on Channel 1003 for all subscribers of its basic packages. Similarly, Cablevision has broadcast on channel 1300. These stations are available to subscribers with basic service. The US Open was also produced by Panasonic, so hopefully the same business deals that got the US Open on these channels will get the Olympics on them as well.
  • If the Olympics were broadcast on ABC, it’s a good bet that ABC would have chosen the ESPN 3D channel to broadcast the 3D feed. But because it’s NBC, I’m guessing that NBC wouldn’t want to let ESPN have the rights. If that’s the case, all the NBC-owned stations (Bravo, Telemundo, MSNBC, CNBC, NBC) will likely be filled with regular HD coverage.¬†They may *possibly* put some 3D content on NBC Sports Channel (formerly Versus).
  • NBC has already announced that there will be new channels for soccer and basketball, which Cablevision,Verizon, and AT&T had already verified that they’ll be carrying.¬†They will also introduce a new 3D-only channel which none of these TV providers have announced they’ll be supporting yet, but if they carry the other two new channels, it’s not much more work for them to support this third one.
I’ll update this blog with any updates I hear (please leave a comment if you hear anything), but if there’s no news the best advice I have right now is to tune to channel 1003 (for FIOS users) or channel 1300 (for Cablevision users) on July 28. If all goes well, you should see looping coverage of the opening ceremonies all day in glorious 3D.
Here’s the 3D Olympics schedule that’s been released so far:
Friday July 27: No coverage (opening ceremonies on NBC)
Saturday July 28: 5 AM – 5 PM – Opening Ceremonies
Sunday, July 29: 4 AM – 6:15 PM – Men’s Gymnastics Team Competition, Swimming Gold Medal Finals
Not exactly sure yet if there’s a 24 hour tape delay why they’re sticking to London time. Hopefully for those of us who work during the day there’ll be looping repeats of coverage throughout the night.
So that’s where things stand right now. As we get closer to the Olympics, hopefully details will be more forthcoming!

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