A month or so ago around a few pubs in England fans had the opportunity of taking in an English Premier League broadcast in 3D. This whole 3D thing is nothing new as far as technology is concerned, but the second step of this format is now taking place and that’s bringing 3D to your home. Sure we all remember Jaws 3D in the movie theatres (okay, maybe I'm dating myself), but how many of you thought the spending of your hard earned cash would end at High Definition television? You may want to save your money until the market is full of these new 3D televisions at an affordable price, because this could be the next big thing or get your cheap HD plasma or LCD and get 3D when the market is a little more saturated. I said that when laser disc came out after VCRs! Glad I never bought a Laser Disc Player.
Football fans in Britain Look on in 3D. (PA)
Now can this technology that’s made “Avatar” a smash and another, “Alice in Wonderland” on the way one has to ask if this will work at home? Imagine Wayne Rooney or Landon Donovan smashing in an amazing volley at the FIFA World Cup this summer in South Africa. The replay shows the shot from behind the net and you think the ball is going to hit you in the face and break your nose on the couch at home! ESPN thinks this is something people are going to want (medical insurance not included). Is it? Well, let's take a look at James Cameron's latest epic "Avatar". Now Cameron has already been on the cutting edge of technology films like "The Abyss" and "Titanic". In fact some of the things Cameron invented for films have won him contracts with the US Military. "Avatar" was many years in the making at a cost of over $250 million. People thought this film would never recoup the cost of making. That has been smashed now by the question, "How much money is this flick going to make and how many awards will it win?" People that have seen the film have said they never thought they would see the day this type of technology would find its way to a theatre near you. Now television wants to jump on the bandwagon and I don't blame them.
The FIFA World Cup in South Africa this summer kicks off June 11th and ESPN wants to debut this 3D technology to the people of the United States at the first game and have a whole slate of live sporting events they want to cover in 3D. Canadians will no doubt have to wait a little longer to get a glimpse of this new piece of hardware. Now the reviews of the English Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester United that I mention earlier did not get the thrilling reviews one may have expected. Many thought on the wide game follow camera the images were fantastic, but close up shots of players did not really work. Now this technology is certainly in its earliest stages, but how tough is it for you at home to watch a match in Standard Definition after you've had a taste of High Definition? I'm sure we will be saying the same thing about 3D a few years down the road as well. The cool news is that it’s not NFL, baseball or hockey that networks are using as a test subject. It’s our game and that’s always a good sign.
Lee Godfrey brings an extensive amount of soccer broadcast experience to GolTV where he is the host of the station’s original Canadian news program Extra Time.