Google on Thursday announced Fiber TV has received its first 3D channels: 3net and ESPN3D. The rollout has already begun; existing customers can find 3net on channel 338, and they can call Google to sign up for ESPN3D.
The reason for the difference between the two is simple. 3net is available to all subscribers of Google’s “Gigabit + TV Plan” while ESPN3D will set you back an additional $5 per month (plus tax) on top of your Gigabit + TV plan (which is already $120 per month).
3net features an “extensive library” of original 3D programming, including natural history, documentary, action/adventure, kids and family, lifestyle and cuisine, concerts, movies scripted series, and so on. ESPN3D is meanwhile being pegged as “the industry’s first 24/7 3D sports network” so if you couldn’t care less about the game, you can probably skip this one.
Here’s Google’s pitch:
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again — we’re committed to making these qualities that you’ve come to expect from Google Fiber TV better and better. And, thanks to the amazing capacity of Fiber, we can also include some new experiences and tools that will make watching TV even cooler. For example, 3D channels.
Nevertheless, we can’t help but feel this rollout is way too early. Not only do you need to own 3D glasses and a 3D-capable TV, but you also have to have Google Fiber. 3D TV adoption is slow because of the high extra cost versus the arguably small gain, while Google Fiber TV adoption is slow because of the high extra cost and limited availability (don’t live in Kansas City? Tough luck).
Add those two together and you have an incredibly small market. We’re willing to bet the number of people with this setup is less than a thousand, if not under one hundred.
That being said, we have no problem with Google continuing to push forward with Fiber. 3D, or really any content that requires more bandwidth, makes perfect sense for the product.
It’s just important to remember not to get too excited: Fiber really is the beta products of beta products.
Image credit: MJimages