3 Sports that look good on 3D TV, and 3 that don't…

1033tvthumb.jpgWhen people talk about 3D TV, they talk about how amazing sport broadcasts and nature documentaries will look. Think of the ball shooting into the back of the net looking like it’s about to burst out of the screen, think of a beaver swinging its tail round and THE TAIL LOOKS LIKE IT’S COMING OUT OF THE TV. These are the promised wonders. But leaving the nature documentaries to one side for the minute, lets just focus on the sports.

Some sports, it is reckoned, look better than others.

Things like football (that’s soccer to Americans), which relies on a lot of camera shots taken from high overhead, won’t benefit immensely from the 3D thing. Of course, corners will look great, goals will look great, and we imagine Ronaldo’s pecs will too when the cameras decide to do close-ups. But overall it’s not a wow! thing.

It’s going to be much harder with games that cover a broader area and that are more unpredictable, or that need to be shot from the side, like swimming. That doesn’t work so well with the way the 3D cameras need to be positioned.

Camera placement is a bit different when shooting sports in three dimensons. 3D TV requires two cameras taking shots from two different angles to create the effect. So crews have to scurry to get them both into place, which can be a bit problematic with things like sailing.. Camera movement changes a lot too. Shooting 2D sports cameramen will often swing the camera around to capture some exciting ball movement. But with 3D you want to keep camera movement slow so the person can be allowed to view the movement unfurling in the shot. Slower movements are picked up better.

Three Sports that look really good in 3D:
Golf – well this was a surprise to me too, but apparently it’s true. As long as the two cameras can be positioned near where the the ball is about to be struck, it all looks pretty good apparently

Boxing There’s movement but it’s not too fast, it’s all based in a small area, cameras can be located all round. You can see muscles bulge and be right in the thick of the action. For similar reasons, gymnastics is also slated to look fantastic in a third dimension.

Formula 1 It’s about speed and some close-up shots could be really exciting. TechRadar reckons: “The scope for excitement is endless with cameras placed trackside, in the pits and on the cars. Overtaking manoeuvres could look sensational”

Three that don’t look so great:
Tennis – this is a shame. Apparently the ball moves just a bit too fast to make a great 3D shot, following something moving that quickly can get a bit headachy, so the camera view is likely to stay on a more sedate overhead view. Still s

Swimming – sports where the cameras are placed to one side, like swimming or running don’t really allow for the two camera angles that 3D shooters need to have.

Football – the world’s biggest sport is a bit so-so on 3D TV. Goals are good, everything is a bit better but the wow factor only comes a few times a match. Techradar says: “strangely the most compelling shots seem to be of the crowd.” – that’s no compliment.

Anna Leach


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