If you're one of that small subsection that subscribes to DirecTV and owns a 3D television and isn't at work right now, go ahead and flip over to channel 103. It's called n3D, and it's what you've been waiting for.
Mark already got a sneak peak at DirecTV's dedicated 3D channel back at CES. Not a ton has changed about the actual viewing experience—put on glasses, watch, repeat—but we've got a much better idea of what it is you'll be able to watch. Which has really been the question the whole time.
The promise of n3D is 24-hour channel with family-friendly entertainment (programming partners include CBS, MTV, HDNet, NBC, and Fox Sports). Partly because there's more available family-friendly content (at least for now), partly because people with families tend to have higher household incomes, and partly, maybe because the broader the tent, the more $150 3D glasses you can sell. There won't be a ton of original content, but some IMAX-type documentaries like Deep Sea 3D and Under the Sea 3D, NASCAR races, and the MLB All-Star Game will be available in 3D for the first time.
That 24-hour distinction is the important one; 3D content has been available in the US in fits and starts. You could watch the Masters on Comcast in April, and the World Cup on ESPN 3D through various subscribers. But now 3DTV owners won't be staring at a blank screen when there's not a major sporting event going on.
Another important point: the content shown on n3D will all be native 3D, meaning nothing will have been upconverted from a 2D image.
The other two channels launching today are DirecTV Cinema 3D and DirecTV OnDemand, both of which are pretty self-explanatory. That's in addition to ESPN 3D, which has been available since June 11th. Pay per view movies on demand will cost a dollar more than current offerings.
Now that it's launched, I'm happy to announce that the very first n3D broadcast is a Jane's Addiction acoustic concert. I approve of the music, but I'll be honest: I'd just as soon not let Dave Navarro into my living room.
If you're an existing DirecTV subscriber, you get n3D free with your subscription, although there's a chance you'll have to upgrade your satellite receiver. If you're not an existing DirecTV subscriber, this may not be the reason to become one—yet. Unless you're the world's biggest, richest Jane's Addiction fan.