3D Olympics coverage will be available to 80 percent of U.S. households during the London 2012 Olympics that begin July 27th. Of course, you must have a 3D TV (and 3D glasses that work with your TV) to watch it. The 3D sports coverage will not be broadcast live,instead they will be aired the next day on special 3D channels from your cable or telco provider, or from DirectTV.
Which 3D Olympics Sports will be shown?
The Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) will produce the 3D sports broadcasts that include: the Opening and Closing ceremonies, men's and women's gymnastics, cycling from the Velodrome, swimming, synchronized swimming, diving, water polo, full coverage of track and field, and the medal rounds of basketball.
The 3D Olympic coverage will be shown the next day and will include all of the Opening and Closing ceremonies. The opening ceremonies will air on Saturday July 28th, and will be rerun throughout the day starting at 5 am until 5 pm. Unlike the complete, live events that will be shown on NBCOlympics.com, the 3D coverage will combine multiple sports and will predominantly show U.S. athletes and teams much like Olympics coverage we watched on TV when we were growing up. A total of 242 hours of 3D coverage will be available over the 17 days of the Olympics (approximately 12 hours per day). Each day Bob Costas will host a program of 3D highlights of the previous day's events.
What Cable, Satellite, and Telco TV providers will have 3D Olympics Coverage?
Many cable and telco TV providers will be showing the 3D Olympics even if they have never aired 3D content in the past. DirecTV will show Olympics 3D programming on channel 103. Both Time Warner and Comcast will air 3D sports coverage along with Armstrong, AT&T, Blue Ridge, Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Cox Communications, Insight, Mediacom, RCN, Suddenlink, Verizon, and WideOpen West. Our locally-owned cable company, Bend Broadband, will show 3D. They are calling it a "test" (presumably because they haven't aired 3D before). They will air it on channel 630 (which, with the Olympics a few days off, is not yet showing in the channel lineup) which is close to the NBC Sports channel on 633.
Although I have been combing the Internet and local newspapers to find information on individual cable TV services, there has been no mention of this 3D coverage. If you want to watch in 3D, contact your TV provider and ask what channel will carry the 3D Olympic coverage. When you call, let them know the model of your set top cable box to make sure that your equipment will be able to receive and transfer the 3D signal to your TV.
How to Watch 3D Olympics on your 3D TV
If you have not watched 3D programming on your TV, you will need 3D glasses. Many 3D TVs come with a package that includes the glasses. For 3D TVs with "active glasses," check your instructions for how to charge the glasses before using them. Other TVs, like the Toshiba 7200u, use "Real D" 3D passive glasses like the ones used at movie theaters (IMAX 3D is different). You should have received glasses with your passive 3D TV. You may need to turn on the 3D feature on your TV. Check to see if your remote control has a 3D button. Note, you will only receive 3D if your cable/satellite/telco box is connected to your TV using an HDMI cable.
Dish Network has other Olympic offerings
Dish Network will not be airing the Olympics in 3D but it is offering special Olympics apps for its new Hopper DVR as well as for the legacy VIP DVR boxes. Starting Thursday, July 26, subscribers can go to the Dish home channel (100) to find out how to get the apps. There will also be onscreen instructions for getting the apps on the NBC channels airing the Olympics.
The apps will include medal counts by country, news, and other Olympic related information.
You can also watch all the Olympic sports live online at NBCOlympics.com or by using the NBC Olympics Live Extra app for Android, iPhones and iPads. Find out how to register to watch live Olympics, and get ready for the 2012 London Olympics.