Thursday, September 17, 2009

ESPN's S3D Coverage of USC - Ohio State Game Continues Great Word Of Mouth

Jim here. The reviews have been stellar - live sports broadcasting is certainly here! Variety reports that the ESPN S3D coverage of the USC - Ohio State football game continues to get awesome word of mouth at the 3D Entertainment Summit taking place right now at the Universal Hilton.

The live 3D was handled by the ever present Vince Pace. His cameras are also being used in December's AVATAR (to name one of many projects) and if his schedule is any indication of the future of 3D - it's looking darn good.

From Variety: Random fans from the main floor were invited up to watch the S3D coverage for a few minutes. Most, if not all, were seeing S3D TV for the first time. Some 50 answered an extensive survey on their reaction from ESPN; we peeked at a few, and all of those were very positive. One fan was overheard to say, "It's really like being there," and another noted, "It's addictive."

Significantly, after a few minutes watching S3D, some would notice instantly when the broadcast picked up a flat shot from the 2D feed.

The Skycam, which flies above the action on cables, wasn't used for the coverage. There wasn't time to safety-test an S3D Skycam, but Vince Pace promises, "Next time, watch out."

Even live sports coverage, it turns out, is not immune from gimmick 3D shots. When sideline reporter Ed Cunningham found Super Bowl hero Santonio Holmes on the sideline, he asked Holmes to show his championship ring to the folks at home -- and put it right into the camera. Sure enough, Holmes' hand seemed to extend out past the screen, drawing laughter and cheers from the ESPN Zone crowd. Think "Dr. Tongue's 3D House of Super Bowl Rings."

"I had talked to Ed before about not being afraid to have fun," Pace said. "It's a natural part of a 3D presentation to say hello to the camera that way." And, he notes with some pride, "Technically, it was pulled off perfectly."

Great to see more live sports broadcasts taking place and more than one company backing the technology to do so. 3ality Digital also does live sports broadcasting with one of their last efforts being the BCS Championship Game broadcast during CES in 3D.

I would like to see a ramp up of live 3D sports being pumped into theater screens, especially Sunday afternoons. Perhaps a drinking age crowd? Certainly makes sense for playoff season!

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