Comcast Debuts Xfinity 3D Channel

It seems that 3D channels are starting to make a few significant inroads in the broadcast landscape. Last week, I reported that DirecTV rolled out 3net, a 24/7 3D channel co-founded by Discovery Communications, Sony, and Imax. Now, Comcast, the country's largest cable provider, is getting in the game with its Xfinity 3D channel, which debuts on Sunday, February 20, 2011.

The new channel, part of Comcast's Xfinity all-digital platform that includes TV, Internet, and VOIP phone service, will begin at 6:00 PM ET with the 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic between the Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames. Immediately following the game will be an MTV World Stage concert by Kings of Leon from Hamburg, Germany. Future programming will feature concerts, sporting events, movies, and original content such as documentaries on African safaris, haunted castles, the depths of the ocean, the surface of the sun, and the age of the dinosaurs.

Comcast is no stranger to 3D. Last April, it delivered the first live national sporting event in 3D with the Masters Golf Tournament, followed by the 2010 FIFA World Cup semi-finals and finals, NASCAR's Coke Zero 400, the Old Spice Classic basketball game, and various college football contests and movies, logging more than one million views of 3D on-demand content. Last month, the company launched HBO 3D On Demand, and ESPN 3D started offering 3D content 24/7 on February 14. Other than transactional video on demand (VOD), Comcast provides 3D programming to any customer with HD service for no additional charge, much like DirecTV.