The World Cup in 3-D

I haven’t watched the film Avatar in 3-D yet, only the normal 2-D video. I can only imagine the audience reaction as the characters and assorted objects literally popped out of the screen. I think 3-D was created for, and is ideal for action films, but wait…

Although sport is filled with action (for the most part), you wouldn’t normally expect to watch it in 3-D. However, sport has not been spared the attentions of the 3-D aficionado’s at our sports broadcasting networks, and thus the 2010 World Cup football tournament is currently being broadcast for the time in glorious 3-D; around 25 matches at least.

I’m really lucky to be working as a Media Venue Manager on the FIFA project here in South Africa, and caught the first half of two games, in FIFA’s HD Cinema, located at the International Broadcast Centre (IBC), right next to the Soccer City stadium, host of the opening ceremony and final game.

Unlike action films which I suspect leaves one twisting and turning in one’s seat, dodging things popping out the screen, 3-D sport scenes really gives one the impression of being right there at the stadium. It’s the next best thing to actually sitting in the crowd. You get the feeling that you’re looking into a box with live persons performing inside. It’s utterly amazing, and I am now convinced that there is no other way to watch sport; most sports at any rate.

Having to wear those geeky-looking 3-D glasses over my own pair of spectacles is not exactly comfortable, but tolerable considering the unique opportunity I’m being accorded to watch for free. For those who don’t have those new 3-D TV sets that are now being sold everywhere (at huge cost), some of the games will be broadcast in selected cinemas around the world. I highly recommend taking in at least one game; it’s a truly memorable experience.

It’s a given that the technology will evolve and true 3-D TV sets which don’t require those pesky glasses will probably be commercially viable pretty soon. I’ve heard that we can expect to watch 3-D holograms of matches at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

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