Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Is 3D football any good? Well, yes and no...

Every Malaysian football fan must be wondering how it was like to watch soccer in 3D.
Unfortunately 3D won't be available in Malaysia for a while, so we would have to depend on the opinions of those in Great Britain who actually watched the MU vs Arsenal match last Sunday in 3D.

Among the lucky ones was Dominic Dawes, the Editor of What Hi-Fi?

This is his report which appeared on http://community.whathifi.com/blogs/shows_and_launches/archive/2010/02/01/sky-3d-tv-is-it-any-good.aspx

"The 3D was certainly promising: the pre-game graphics were deeply impressive, coming out of the screen in genuinely 3D style. It made me wonder just how amazing on-screen graphics will become once the creators of said graphics have had time to develop their 3D ideas in full.

"But what of the game itself? Did watching it in 3D really improve the experience?

"Well... yes and no. Yes, the game did look good, and at particular moments, when the camera angle switched to a low, pitch-side camera, the 3D effect was considerably more pronounced.

"That said, most of the time when sport is being filmed, in order to get a good view of the game the main camera angle is a wide shot - taken by a camera some considerable height above pitch level. This makes perfect sense in terms of seeing the game, but from this angle the 3D effect is actually very subtle.

"Yes, it added a small degree of extra depth to the already good-quality, high-def picture. But if the intention was to knock us all out with the 3D 'wow factor' it didn't entirely manage it.

"Not that it looked bad, at all. It's just that the 3D element of the picture was not startling. To tell the truth, there were moments I almost forgot I was watching in 3D, and started to wonder what I was doing sitting inside with a pair of shades on.

"Once the market is swamped by 3D products later this year, we'll all have a better idea how consumers are reacting to it. Personally, I think video gamers and fans of animated, Pixar-type movies will be the first to really thrill to the benefits of 3D TV technology.

"But football? Is sport a key area for 3D? We'll see: certainly, some of Sky's demo footage of various sports looks amazing – intriguingly, most of it looks more impressive than the live footage of Arsenal Vs Man Utd did – but whether that makes consumers en masse want to traipse down the pub on a Sunday afternoon to put on a pair of cheap-looking sunglasses and watch the big match in 3D is another matter."

In the What Hi Fi? forum, most forumers said they would not waste their money buying first-generation and costly 3D TVs.

They said they would rather wait for the technology to mature and for more programmes in 3D to be available before making the decision to upgrade to 3D TVs.

At least one said he would not waste money buying a 3D TV so soon after having bought his LCD TV last year and when he does decide to upgrade, he would opt for a projector.

Another said if history is any indication, the first generation 3D TVs would be costly and the prices will plummet after that.

One of the few forumers planning to buy a 3D TV said he was already going to upgrade from a 32" to a 37" or 40" and might as well buy a 3D model.

So it appears that a lot of British AV enthusiasts are adopting a wait-and-see stance regarding 3D TVs.

Meanwhile, in Malaysia we are likely to be adopting a wait-and-wait stance before we can even watch 3D TV.

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