News

HBO Pops the Cork On 3D VOD Movies

1/03/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

HBO’s New Year’s resolution:
Let subs with fancy 3DTV sets watch
movies that jump off the screen.

The premium channel’s initial 3D
video-on-demand lineup, to be available
starting Jan. 3, includes Coraline,
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Monsters
vs. Aliens
and Clash of the Titans.
“Our feeling is that, while it’s early, HBO
subscribers
tend
to be early
adopters,”
chief technology
officer Bob
Zitter said.

The 3D
VOD titles
will be
avai lable
through
HBO affiliates that offer its high-definition
VOD service; those currently include
Comcast and Verizon Communications’
FiOS TV.

HBO expects to add more 3D titles in
the coming months. It could soon get
its hands on James Cameron’s Avatar
— the box-office dynamo that fired up
Hollywood’s 3D frenzy — as the programmer
has a movie output deal with
20th Century Fox. HBO also has deals
with Warner Bros., Universal Studios
and DreamWorks Animation.

Boxing in 3D may also be coming to
HBO. The programmer did a dry run,
shooting the Dec. 11 bout between
Amir Khan and Marcos Maidana in
Las Vegas with 3D production company
Pace. So far, consumer interest in
3DTV has been weak.

Still, TV makers, programmers and
distributors are poised to take a second
run at 3DTV in the new year (see “Special
Report: CES 2011 Preview” ).

“It’s very similar to how HD came
out. That was a slow rollout at first,”
Comcast vice president of entertainment
services Diana Kerekes said.
“For those who are investing in 3D,
they want that content.”

September