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3D Stereoscopic Production & Delivery
Discuss 3D (stereoscopic video) acquisition, post and delivery.


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Old June 1st, 2011, 11:24 PM   #1
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Espn 3d

I finally signed up for ESPN 3D - the draw was the NBA finals in 3D. The cable company had to install a new box; the old one (not that old) was not compatible; and the cable guy was doing a brisk business in 3D boxes; I guess I'm not the only basketball fan.

I was surprised, ESPN broadcasts in over-under format. (Or at least Time Warner broadcasts in over-under; I don't know if this varies by cable company.) With the little 3D video I've done with a GoPro 3D camera I get much better results with side-by-side; with over-under I seem to get aliasing around horizontal features. But I don't see any of this with ESPN 3D, the video is very clean. And I was impressed that ESPN was able to deliver consistently good live 3D with very few glitches.

The 3D experience with basketball is VERY GOOD. The floor level shots are especially good; the shots from higher levels are okay, but the benefit of 3D is decreased. The main difference in watching compared to 2D is the lower light level. Our Panasonic TV is very bright and we are used to watching sports with the room fairly well lit. For the game in 3D we turned down the room lights and in a few minutes our eyes adjusted okay.

ESPN 3D seems to broadcast 24/7; if there is not a live event they play re-runs. And there are almost no commercials, so you can flip to the channel any time and get a sampling of 3D. My initial impression of (American) football was not as good as basketball; there are definately some good shots, but not as consistently good. I can imagine hockey as a good very fit for 3D but I haven't seen any yet; and I would imagine that baseball is not a very good fit (but I haven't seen ths yet either). Obviously X Games and Winter X Games work well with 3D.

Basketball is good enough in 3D that something definitely seems missing in 2D.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 01:10 AM   #2
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Re: Espn 3d

Thanks for the information on ESPN 3D. You mentioned that hockey would be good in 3D- I watched CBC hockey 3D broadcast and was stunned at how ineffective the 3D was. The game I saw was the Heritage Classic, and I think there was several reasons for the 3D problems.

1) white on white and high contrast. This caused major ghosting problems.
2) Speed of puck movement and camera switched. The speed was just way too fast for the eye to adapt to the 3D. They would cut from a wide shot of the full rink to a close up of a hard hit against the glass. It was literally painful.
3) Major floating window problems- because of the hard edges of the rink boards, ice and glass it was not at all convincing 3D. Especially on any shot which wasn't wide, this was a big issue.

I think the basketball worked well due to the way the arena is more open, fewer hard edges and floating window problems, less contrast, slower speed of movement. Sports I would love to see in 3D are tennis, gymnastics, track and field and horse racing as I think these are dynamic enough to be enjoyable without the major issues the hockey presentation had. This is something for broadcasters to keep on top of as especially for the hockey, it will be very difficult to re-design their traditional camera set ups due to the restrictions the ice, boards and glass present.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 09:34 AM   #3
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Re: Espn 3d

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denise Quesnel View Post
Thanks for the information on ESPN 3D. You mentioned that hockey would be good in 3D- I watched CBC hockey 3D broadcast and was stunned at how ineffective the 3D was. The game I saw was the Heritage Classic, and I think there was several reasons for the 3D problems.
Good feedback Denise - all good points, and this makes it clear that each venue presents a unique set of 3D problems. I didn't think about the floating window issue with hockey. There is just a little of this with basketball, but not very much, and the cameramen seem well trained to avoid shots that would show floating windows. Good luck with the Canucks!
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