So here’s the deal. I’m watching the first ever live 3D broadcast of anything on Australian television. Right now. Terribly exciting.

Watch out for the seagull! Brett Holman (14) celebrates the winner / AAP

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.

Aaaaaaaagggh! Seagull!

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.

Most commented


Show oldest | newest first

    • iBleeter says:

      10:30pm | 24/05/10

      mmm tapped balls in 3D, can’t wait

    • Sam Chowder says:

      10:53pm | 24/05/10

      Awful game - Australia will have trouble making it off the plane

    • Bruce says:

      11:35pm | 24/05/10

      Love 3D. The 3D glasses have got to go. I can see it now: Family finishes their dinner, now on with the dark glasses !

    • Tom says:

      12:04am | 25/05/10

      I’m pretty sure it was Brad Jones who made that save, parrying a Rory Fallon header mid-to-late second half. Federici was long gone by then.

    • Ant Sharwood says:

      07:12am | 25/05/10

      you’re right, tom. apologies. i blame the glasses. and the seagulls.

    • S.L says:

      04:49am | 25/05/10

      Being a luddite I’m not holding my breath for 3D tv.
      Accurate description of the game though Anthony. NZ derserved cash last night. I hope this is our 1 bad game before the World Cup!

    • Matthew says:

      12:21pm | 25/05/10

      I hope this is our 1 bad game before, during and after the World Cup! =P

    • BTS says:

      06:53am | 25/05/10

      Well no wonder you were disappointed, you were watching soccer.

    • timmeh says:

      09:24am | 25/05/10

      i guess thats one upside of ‘urghball’ ... not much meaningful international competition so you can never be disappointed. Big fish luv their small puddles lol

    • BTS says:

      11:36am | 25/05/10

      Strange you assume what code I am interested in.

    • Joe Stephens says:

      12:30pm | 25/05/10

      Damn!! I wanted to be the first to comment on a soccer related article and bag the sport. Because I don’t like soccer, therefore nobody else should!

      Too quick on this one BTS, hopefully nobody has done it in the AFL related one yet.

    • Barry says:

      07:59am | 25/05/10

      yes, very ordinary game last night, but better than watching rugby union…and those seagulls..I thought the all-whites were remarkably quick off the ball!

    • King Tutting says:

      08:21am | 25/05/10

      @BTS -  grow a neck

    • DG says:

      08:32am | 25/05/10

      just wait till they let of the flares in the stands- the 3D effect will burn the glasses off your face and melt your retina’s onto the back of your skull!

      thankgoodness for crowd violence at soccer- its the only excitment for 90 minutes!

    • shabangabang says:

      08:42am | 25/05/10

      I got a headache when I looked at a 3D picture in a mag recently. That was only for 20 seconds. If 3D is the new trend or fad, I will crawl back under my rock and let it past.

    • Not Happy says:

      08:52am | 25/05/10

      $4500 spent on Samsung 3D Tv
      $1000 spent on 8 x 3D Glasses
      Just found out won’t be able to watch State of Origin as I live 20k from MtCootha
      Priceless Thanks Channel 9 for telling me to check reception area

    • Sheedy's Left Foot says:

      12:22pm | 25/05/10

      Ill give you $500 for the lot…..oh hang on I have to watch it on Channel 9…make that $250.

    • Justin says:

      08:54am | 25/05/10

      Pocket cameras for snooker or pool would be good in 3D.

    • Frank M says:

      09:25am | 25/05/10

      I don’t see what the big deal is with wearing glasses to watch TV, I’ve had no choice for as long as I can remember. Get over it.

    • Duke says:

      09:28am | 25/05/10

      Watched 3D sample of a 100 m sprint race, looked like old floor game with eight cardboard cutouts in a row going back and forth.



    • Kyle says:

      09:38am | 25/05/10

      I can’t say Rugby League will be any better. It would only work with sports that feature low-angle shots, as you mentioned.Perhaps Olympic sports like hammer-throw and archery would be ideal - how exciting…

      Personally I think it will remain a gimmick for a selection of movies and lead-ups to theme park rides. The latest 3D trend has only come with the natural advances in technology.

      Great comment on Kate Ellis, she is pretty hot.

    • wolf says:

      10:08am | 25/05/10

      Ant did Craig Moore’s abysmal performance come through clearly on 3D TV?  Do you think he should be on the plane to South Africa?

    • Ant Sharwood says:

      07:59pm | 25/05/10

      wolf, missed yr comment so sorry i didn’t reply earlier. You’d have to think experienced defenders like Moore are what Pim’s looking for now he’s revealed his cards somewhat by not taking Scott McDonald. But I agree, Moore was awful. Gotta say, though. Only saw half the game really, cos kept taking glasses on and off so could take notes and file this piece of somewhat questionable quality at final whistle. kinda ended up too dizzy to remember much about the game (and not cos of free fox sports beer).

    • Peregrine says:

      10:43am | 25/05/10

      Give me a sport like NHL ice hockey in 3D, or Olympic track and field. Watch out for that javelin!

    • Bensville Bear says:

      11:01am | 25/05/10

      Your comment:

      “Low angle shots”  Cycling shots from the back of a motorcycle. Perfect.  Can’t wait for Tour De France in 3D.

    • Adam MacLeod says:

      11:11am | 25/05/10

      A better use of technology would be a broadcast the game with multiple audio tracks (commentary on, commentary off).  How much better would it be to watch a footy game with just the noise of the crowd in the background. 

      Easy peasy.  Only problem is, TV manufacturers can’t sell us more gadgets.

    • Steve says:

      01:28pm | 25/05/10

      In the UK, Sky Sports have had this available for football for years (15 at least)...just Australia playing catch up as usual…

    • John says:

      11:21am | 25/05/10

      The masoginistic undertones in your article show you are a real pig. But then again, maybe in your dimension sweetheart, you are a 3D pig.

    • Kate Ellis says:

      12:06pm | 25/05/10

      Hey Anthony - in regards to your question, the Government doesn’t pay any additional funding for signage at football matches.

      It has been a long standing practice that Sporting Organisations like the FFA provide acknowledgement on their websites, publications and at events in recognition of the tax payer’s contribution to sport in this country.

      I imagine that perhaps they just looked speckier than usual with your fancy 3D glasses on.

    • Ant Sharwood says:

      12:58pm | 25/05/10

      Thanks very much Kate for taking the time to set that straight. Really appreciate it, as I hope the readers do.

      BTW, you’ll note I have refrained from addressing you by the title I used in my story.

    • Not Happy says:

      05:09pm | 25/05/10

      Hi Kate,
      While on the subject, can you please explain why Channel 9 has not warned the public that depending on where they live, they may not receive the 3D signal? I am to believe that the government gave channel 9 the approval to broadcast, why was there not any safe guards to warn people like myself. I am sure there could have been a li9nk on Nine’s website with a list of areas that will receive the signal

    • Rod says:

      06:20pm | 25/05/10

      3D looked great last night.  Live from MCG not Sydney.

      Nine’s coverage will be Sydney only from what I have read not national like first 3d sports broadcast.

      Congrats Foxtel.

    • GoatRyder says:

      10:50am | 26/05/10

      I paid $3,000 to have my eyes fixed 10 years ago… they want me to wear glasses again!  Not a chance.

    • leonards says:

      11:52pm | 06/02/11

      A better use of technology would be a broadcast the game with multiple audio tracks (commentary on, commentary off).  How much better would it be to watch a footy game with just the noise of the crowd in the background.

      Easy peasy.  Only problem is, TV manufacturers can’t sell us more gadgets.

      blind spot mirror


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