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Looking for ESPN 3D on Comcast? Get an MPEG-4 cable box first


We're just minutes away from the first match of the 2010 World Cup, and the first match broadcast on ESPN 3D. If you're on Comcast and not yet seeing the channel on your guide, it will probably be helpful to know where to look. A few posters on AVSForum have pointed out where to find the guide number for your area, and also that this broadcast is different from the previous Masters 3D event in several ways. First, not everyone will get the channel automatically, while it's provided at no additional charge, it will require a call to add the package to your service, and in some cases, a new cable box -- TiVos won't work this time. Give the FAQ a once over to make sure you're ready to go, then slip on those 3D glasses and enjoy the kickoff match between South Africa and Mexico.

Want to know how things are going? Check @bjdraw on Twitter for live updates on the 3D broadcast straight from ESPN's headquarters in Bristol.

Update: We've confirmed with Comcast that the suddenly restrictive cable box requirements are because ESPN 3D (and future 3D content) is being transmitted in the MPEG-4 format, instead of older MPEG-2 compression. That should ease up any bandwidth concerns, but unfortunately means most people will need to swap their cable box to get the new channel. Is living in the future fun yet?

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Comcast information on set-top box requirements, and channel listings:

Customers will need a Comcast set top box capable of receiving content in MPEG4 format to enjoy ESPN 3D and additional 3D content offered in the future. Carrying 3D content in MPEG4 format allows for greater efficiency with our network capacity, and will allow us to add even more 3D content going forward, both for linear channels and OnDemand content.

What channel will ESPN3D be broadcast on?

ESPN3D will be broadcast on different channels, depending on where you live. The list below shows which channel ESPN3D will be broadcast on in your area.

Eastern U.S. (Washington D.C., PA, NJ, VA): Channel 980
Northern U.S. (MA, ME, IL, MI, CT, NH): Channel 334
Northern U.S. (Indiana, except Kokomo (334)): Channel 1603
Southern U.S. (GA, FL, TX, AL): Channel 790
Western U.S. (CA, WA, OR, CO, NM, AZ): Channel 898

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