NFL game 3-D experiment gets mostly thumbs up

Yesterday, in the Sun, I wrote about an experiment in telecasting last night's Raiders-Chargers game in 3-D. It was shown to invited audiences at three theaters in Hollywood, New York and near Boston.

One of the main technology companies spearheading the effort is led by two of Art Modell's sons, David and John. Some day, live sports events could be a staple of per-per-view in theaters or even at home on 3--D enabled TVs. Some day is approaching fast because the BCS game next month is expected to be shown in 3-D in about 150 theaters around the country. Details on locations and prices have not been announced.

Here are some reviews of last night's broadcast. The game itself didn't help much, a 34-7 Chargers win and a yawner. There were some glitches, which were probably to be expected, but overall the reviews were favorable.

"The experience wasn't jaw-dropping, but it was noticeably better than a conventional broadcast. The game was drama-free, yet the novelty of 3D made it hard for me to take my eyes off the screen -- at least until the Chargers' lead stretched to 27 points with less than a minute to go before halftime." Full article.

-- John Healey, L.A. Times

"The most compelling action was best seen on slow-motion replays when the ball came directly at the cameras, such as an end-zone shot of the interceptions by San Diego's Stephen Cooper from the Raiders' JaMarcus Russell in the second quarter

Higher-level shots weren't that effective, but with a football game on such a large field going side to side, they were necessary. So with the lower-level cameras capturing the most breathtaking images, the viewer almost needed to reprioritize - did he want more optical gratification at the expense of knowing exact down and distance? Sometimes, but not always." Full article.

-- Tom Hoffarth, L.A. Daily News

"The first NFL game broadcast to theaters live in 3-D fumbled, then recovered Thursday night.

Two satellite glitches blacked out the broadcast to theaters in Boston, New York and Los Angeles in the first half of the game between the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers.

And on a few occasions, a quick camera movement or a refocusing — and one ill-advised dissolve — had viewers pulling off their polarized lenses.

But the Los Angeles audience was mostly forgiving, in awe of a spectacle that had depth and in some instances gave the feeling of being on the field, especially for the opening coin toss." Full article.

-- Ryan Nakashima, AP.

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