- April 7th, 2010
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Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category
It is commonly acknowledged that sporting events have deep pockets and, in the case of the FIFA’s World Cup, a huge and loyal fan base around the globe. It is fitting then that broadcasters would foot the bill for what is considered to be an enormous and costly test of Sony’s and Quasar’s equipment.
In Broadcast Engineering’s article the issue is raised that the 3D camera rigs are rather large and require taking over extra seats that would otherwise be sold for top dollar to World Cup fans.
The introduction of this new technology may be premature, or as I refer to as an ongoing test, until the kinks (and the extra camera positions) are worked out.
Are audiences ready and are there enough venues and home displays ready to receive stereo images of the soccer games? Can they get close enough to the action? Soccer stadiums are huge arenas and the wide angle of each game is generally a camera positioned well away from the action. Soccer does not enjoy the flying rigs that the NFL has employed which place the camera in the backfield just above the heads of the players.
Many of the technical aspects of 3D continue to be ironed out. But Sky TV in Europe and ESPN here in the United States plan to roll out their 3D channels this summer just in time for the World Cup. It took years for theaters to re-equip their screens to handle 3D. It may take consumers and public venues mere months to update their displays as their investment in the new technology is considerably less. It remains to be seen how broad and how quickly the penetration of 3D in the TV market place will be and if audiences are willing to don the glasses in a Sports Bar or in the living room. Stay tuned.
Three thousand dollars will score you a Panasonic 3D display which might be considered reasonable if you are the owner of a Sports Bar.
For the rest of us, we might have to wait until the prices come down, which may not be as long as you think. Consider when HD displays first went on sale ten years ago with the jaw dropping price of $8,000. Over time more consumers buy into a new technology and the price comes down precipitously. I bought my first flat panel last year for Christmas from a well known retailer in New York. With no tax and free shipping, I got mine (Sony Bravia 40″) for under $750.
In the meantime if you’d like to experience Tiger Woods and the Masters in 3D, call around to find out which local tavern will be offering it up or visit your nearest Best Buy.
In 3-D, Masters Does Have Extra Dimension NY Times 3.31.10
Clearly sports entertainment has the big bucks and the audience willing to pay for enhanced viewing. The question remains will 3D cameras covering sports be able to handle quick pans and lots of transient images and fast motion. And how close must the cameras be placed to make it worth the time and effort?