3D television kicks off, but I’m not too exci- Aaaargh!
So here’s the deal. I’m watching the first ever live 3D broadcast of anything on Australian television. Right now. Terribly exciting.
It’s the Socceroos vs New Zealand match, and a bunch of my sports media colleagues are gathered at Fox Sports HQ in Sydney. Normally, most of us would be at the ground, but tonight, we’re 1000 km from the MCG so we can feel “closer” to the game. Isn’t modern life confusing?
Ah, here come the canapés. Beats lukewarm Four ‘n’ Twenties. Mmmm, Carpaccio, which the waitress calls “gazpacio”. Maybe in your dimension sweetheart, but with or without my 3D glasses, that’s raw beef on crispbread, not cold Spanish soup.
Aaaaaaghh! A bird! A giant seagull! It’s mistaken my canapé for a chip and it’s diving straight at me! Wait. It’s just an MCG seagull. Possibly one whose mother was killed by an errant cricket ball last summer, but no immediate threat.
3D TV first lesson: it’s the small incidental things that remind you how different this TV experience is.
Nooooo! New Zealand has scored. Maybe if I take these glasses off it’ll all be different. No such luck. They’re one up.
Australia, it must be said, are playing like they’re the ones who need glasses. Passes repeatedly miss the man. Kicks are miscued. When the Socceroos are in possession, the entire game seems to be bumbling along at half pace.
At one point, Vinny Grella breaks the line, then inexplicably tries to beat the keeper with a shot from halfway. He’s not the only guy whose perspective has been distorted tonight.
Halftime. NZ deservedly lead. They’ve at least look organised in general play. Australia have only looked half-threatening from set plays, mostly thanks to Mark Bresciano’s curling right-footers.
3D TV second lesson: The technology works fantastically with set pieces, where the low angle brilliantly captures the trajectory of the ball. Just a shame the trajectory is so off target.
Way back in the ’80s, I remember the first 3D movie I saw. It was called Comin’ At Ya! and it was a Western where these poor unfortunates in a frontier town had every conceivable object projected at them for two hours straight. I’ll assume the town was called Dodge City.
So here’s where I’m going with this. Stuff that comes at ya is great in 3D. It’s what the medium was made for.
Balls being tapped around tamely by incompetents, not so much.
This is not to write off the future of televised 3D sport. I’ll be backing up Wednesday night to see how rugby league’s State of Origin goes in 3D. The collisions and sheer biffo will likely add something. But this is, well, pretty ho hum really.
WAIT. HOLD THAT THOUGHT! DARIO VIDOSIC has just slammed home a beauty from close range! Oooh, that was actually pretty good in 3D. Which is exactly the point I’ve been making.
The faster the action, the better the 3D experience. Pride and Prejudice just ain’t gonna benefit much from this.
By the way, why does the Australian Sports Commission need to advertise on the sideline hoardings? Perhaps The Honourable Kate Ellis will take a moment to tell us how much the ads cost, and what their precise benefit was to the taxpayer. Over to you, Your Hotness.
Aaaaaaaagggh! Giant mutant alien seagull! Wait. That was actually a New Zealand All Whites player launching his head towards the ball. Great save, Adam Federici.
Game over. No it’s not. Last minute goal to the ‘Roos! 2-1. Take that mutant Kiwi fush n chup munchers!
The question now is: would I rush out to pay $2500 for a standard 3D set? In a word, no. Not yet anyway.
One thing seems essential if this thing is to catch on eventually. Ditch the bloody glasses. Look, I realise that members of my profession are fashion-challenged at the best of times, but this is ridiculous. We might as well have party hats and spinning bow ties too. Or, you know, borrow a golfer’s wardrobe.
Word is that eventually the magic lenses on the glasses will be incorporated into actual TV screens. Wake me when that happens. That is, if horrifying visions of giant seagulls ever let me sleep again.
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