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Verizon Takes Another Swipe at Cable 3DTV

BASKING RIDGE, N.J.: Verizon is pitching a fit about being left out of the rush toward 3DTV. The FiOS TV provider released yet another public statement about how it’s not barreling into 3DTV until the technology is fully cooked, unlike like some other providers who happen to be withholding one-time 3D events from Verizon. Comcast cut out satellite and telcoTV operators from its 3DTV coverage of the upcoming Masters golf tournament, Light Readingreported.

“What started at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show in January as a frenzy over 3D TVs and manufacturer commitments to start selling them, has become a rush to ‘wow’ consumers,” Verizon said in a statement released today. “Meanwhile, some TV service providers that also create content are generating and hoarding their 3D programming.”

Verizon first publicized its objection to Comcast’s maneuver in the company blog. It rolled out Shawn Strickland, vice president of FiOS product management today.

“The market for 3DTV is very early in its development. We’re monitoring the early sales of 3DTVs and expect to announce a 3D offering well in advance of the holiday TV-shopping season, when 3D television sales will expand,” Strickland’s statement said.

Verizon has not yet cut a carriage deal for ESPN HD, launching in June. Strickland said simply that Verizon was in “active discussions with a number of companies in the emerging 3D value chain.”

She then addresses the program exclusivity of the Masters 3D coverage without naming names.

“There are content distribution companies that own content and that are simply running demonstration events early in the evolution of 3D,” she stated. “Some content owners have elected to specifically exclude Verizon and other competitive distributors from carriage of these 3D events in an effort to advantage their distribution businesses. Others have fixed ridiculously high prices for the content.”

Strickland said 3DTV technology has a ways to go; today’s set-top boxes are not programmed to adjust 3DTVs.

“Our goal is to offer a product that has a fully automated HDMI format-switching capability that switches between 2D and 3D, not via ponderous access to the TV’s setup menu,” she said. “By then, we expect to have access to good 3D content and to have chosen our mode of delivery, whether full-time or part- time broadcast service, or via video on demand and to what measure as pay-per-view material.”

(Image by Malisonian)

March 29, 2010: “Verizon Makes 3D Plans for FiOS
“Verizon’s network can easily handle the 3D signal, and we are committed to having a 3D offering later this year.”