3DTVGuide.org - 3D Football
The UKís BSKYB made television history in January 2010 when it became the first TV network to broadcast a football match in 3D - Arsenalís Premier League clash with Manchester United. This is why, if you had been at the Elk Bar in Fulham or the Sirocco in Soho, you would have been treated to the strange sight of punters standing around the LG Cinema 3D sets wearing 3D glasses, pints of Crouch Vale and Newcastle Brown in hand.
They were probably a bit less rowdy too, being preoccupied with the extra wow factor of seeing their favourite players strutting their stuff in three dimensions (plus itís harder to see that fan of the opposing team that youíre wanting to punch when youíre wearing those things in a dimly lit room).
Like other sports, 3D football has yet to reach its full potential - viewers of the January game reported that, while it undeniably added to the visceral thrill of, among other things, seeing Wayne Rooney earn his 20th for the season - the most noticeable 3D effect was having the Sky logo jump out at them. And like other sports, there was the added sense of being right in among the crowds. The 3D broadcast of the January game was limited to nine pubs in London, Cardiff, Manchester and Edinburgh, but the technology was rolled out to hundreds more the following April, along with the official launch of Skyís 3D sports channel to its Sky+HD customers.
So where can 3D take us on the football field? Think back to 2001, when David Beckham scored with his sensational 30 yard free kick against Greece, taking England from trailing 2-1 to a place in the 2002 World Cup finals.
Seeing the ball fly in 3D really would have been something, and so would have the close-ups right after - Beckhamís victory run across the stadium and his teammates celebrating one the decadeís most breathtaking moments on the field. 25 games of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa were shot in 3D in partnership with Sony, and broadcast through select channels including ESPN in the US and Sogecable in Spain.
Eight matches were also selected for 3D cinemas. Due to the extra logistics involved in transporting 3D video equipment, 3D was used in only five out of the ten stadiums, but as the technology evolves and the cameras become more compact, these limitations will disappear.
Exciting times lie ahead for football fans everywhere. As for the 3D glasses, someone else on the net said something about beer goggles, and we canít resist mentioning that here.
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