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Verizon Makes 3D Plans for FiOS

Verizon is jumping on the 3DTV bandwagon, but not without a swipe at competitive carriers that are launching first.

“Verizon’s network can easily handle the 3D signal, and we are committed to having a 3D offering later this year, surely in time for the holiday tech buying season, when the penetration of 3D-ready sets increases,” wrote Jim Smith on Verizon’s blog. “Just as we did with HD, we’ll bring the broadest range of 3D possible to the market supported by the best technology and customer service.”

Cablevision carried the first live stereoscopic TV event in the United States into homes last week with a hockey telecast. Comcast recently announced live distribution of stereoscopic 3DTV to its HD subscribers with the Masters golf tourney next month. Cox Communications will also carry the 3D feed. DirecTV is launching 3D channels in June, including ESPN’s.

Smith plants Verizon’s flag on access to 3D content produced by competitors that might choose to carry it exclusively. The remark particularly targets Comcast, which excluded satellite and telcoTV providers from carrying the Masters in 3D, Light Reading Cable reported.

“You’ll see various grandstanding plays by cable companies who also produce content and can play it on their networks in 3D, hoping to make headlines with their ‘firsts,’ while excluding Verizon and other competitors from carrying this material,” he said. “Is it unrealistic to think integrated operators should share their 3D content with all their viewers, even those served by others?”

Smith said Verizon is working in its 3D strategy and service options, including video-on-demand, pay per view and regular telecasts.

“Verizon is focused not only on the most content, but also on the best customer experience,’ he said. “That’s why you’ll see us enter the market with a rational, satisfying 3D package, not flashes of 3D titillation.”

No specific launch date nor further details were provided.