It seems that this year, for a third consecutive year the Masters Golf Tournament will be broadcast in 3D, continuing the tradition that this event has started back in 2010, and successfully continued in 2011 as well. This year the event will again be broadcasted in 3D both online and on ESPN 3D (possibly on other 3D channels as well), there is already some information about the schedule of the 3D broadcasts – they will not cover the whole event.
The 3D broadcasts of the Masters 2012 Golf Tournament will begin on April 4th, the third practice day as the first practice day is today, and will continue until the last day of the tournament – April 8th. If you want to be able to watch the 3D coverage online, you will need a 3D capable computer with a 3D monitor and 3D glasses (not limited to specific 3D setups) along with a 3D media player with support for Windows Media Video and Side by Side 3D video format.
The 3D coverage will be available during the following windows:
– Wednesday 4 April 2012: 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
– Thursday 5 April 2012: 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
– Friday 6 April 2012: 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
– Saturday 7 April 2012: 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
– Sunday 8 April 2012: 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
The information listed above contains broadcast windows in Eastern Time (ET) in USA, the online 3D coverage may not be available worldwide or in some countries, there is no clear information on that yet, but make sure that you get the right time for your Time Zone. Probably the online stream will be rotating a recording during the rest of the time when there is no real-time online broadcast, but you should not rely on that.
– For more information about the 3D broadcasts of the Masters 2012 Golf Tournament…
It is almost about time for the world’s first FIFA World Cup to available in 3D and FIFA and Sony just announced a bit more information about it, including which of games will actually be shot in 3D. With a total of seven pairs of Sony’s professional HDC cameras on rigs at every match (Sony HDC-1500), the action on the pitch will be captured in a stunning 3D quality enabled through its proprietary multi-image processor (Sony MPE-200) and 3D Outside Broadcast truck. Sony’s cutting-edge processor is supposedly the only one in the market to date that makes an end-to-end workflow possible in the production process and automatically adjusts the depth-of-field to ensure optimal 3D viewing experience. Starting from the FIFA Confederations Cup last year in South Africa, Sony has been working on enhancing the 3D capturing of fast-moving football action and has since conducted a number of 3D filming trials in Europe to provide the best experience to the football (soccer) fans. 3D filming will be realised at five out of the 10 FIFA World Cup stadiums: Soccer City and Ellis Park in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. 25 matches in total will be filmed and broadcast in 3D, which will include a carefully chosen selection of those games expected to attract most public attention, including the opening game on June 11 at Soccer City (South Africa vs Mexico) and the crowning final game on July 11 also in Johannesburg.
List of all the games to be captured in 3D:
1. June 11 @ 16:00 – South Africa vs Mexico
2. June 12 @ 16:00 – Argentina vs Nigeria
3. June 13 @ 20:30 – Germany vs Australia
4. June 14 @ 13:30 – Netherlands vs Denmark
5. June 15 @ 20:30 – Brazil vs Korea DPR (PRK)
6. June 16 @ 16:00 – Spain vs Switzerland
7. June 17 @ 13:30 – Argentina vs Korea Republic
8. June 18 @ 16:00 – Slovenia vs USA
9. June 19 @ 13:30 – Netherlands vs Japan
10. June 20 @ 20:30 – Brazil vs Cote d’Ivoire
11. June 21 @ 20:30 – Spain vs Honduras
12. June 22 @ 20:30 – Nigeria vs Korea Republic
13. June 23 @ 20:30 – Ghana vs Germany
14. June 24 @ 16:00 – Slovakia vs Italy
15. June 25 @ 16:00 – Portugal vs Brazil
16. June 27 @ 20:30 – 1st in group B vs 2nd in group A
17. June 28 @ 16:00 – 1st in group E vs 2nd in group F
18. June 28 @ 20:30 – 1st in group G vs 2nd in group H
19. July 02 @ 20:30 – Quarter finals
20. July 03 @ 16:00 – Quarter finals
21. July 03 @ 20:30 – Quarter finals
22. July 06 @ 20:30 – Semi finals
23. July 07 @ 20:30 – Semi finals
24. July 10 @ 20:30 – 3rd place match
25. July 11 @ 20:30 – The Final
The 3D feed from these 25 matches will be made available for broadcast on 3D TV channels, which can be enjoyed by consumers on their 3D-compatible TV sets at home. The first confirmed partners for the 3D TV live broadcast are ESPN in the US and Sogecable in Spain with more to come apparently. Eight matches will be fed live to digital cinemas and selected venues in 3D HD quality around the globe, and FIFA has appointed Swiss-based Aruna Media AG to manage the exclusive 3D cinema and entertainment venue rights for live games in 3D. Aruna plans to broadcast live 3D coverage of matches to around 26 countries and is in advanced discussions with several major markets. Complementing the 3D live broadcast and public viewing activities, the general public will also be able to exclusively enjoy the 3D promotional trailers shown on Sony 3D BRAVIA TVs in around 4,000 Sony-affiliated retail stores worldwide (1,500 in North America, 1,300 in Europe, 500 in Japan, 200 in Asia, 200 in Latin America, and 30 in South Africa). Furthermore, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment also plans to produce and distribute the official FIFA film in 3D on Blu-ray Disc later this year.
This summer should be big for all the major TV brands that are going to release the new wave of 3D-capable HDTVs, or at least everyone hopes it to be like that and expects this to happen, but will it turn out as expected or not is another thing. It very much depends on how many early adopters will go for the 3D technology on a TV for more general use and not just for specifics like gaming in stereoscopic 3D which is something that you can even do at the moment with a 120Hz monitor. A 3D-capable HDTV will bring you a bigger screen which is best suitable for movies, but you’ll be getting the whole thing – 3D photos, movies and games.
If you’ve been watching closely nobody besides Sony is talking about stereo 3D gaming, but Sony is doing this related to their PlayStation 3 console only, but what about the PC users? I mean at the moment playing games in stereoscopic 3D is the best thing you can do on a 3D-capable display and this is just because there is enough content. Basically almost all 3D games can easily be played in stereo 3D with the help of special software such as Nvidia’s 3D Vision, DDD’s Tridef Ingnition or iZ3D’s Driver and you don’t need games that are specially made for S3D, although that does help. Unfortunately there is no information regarding how and if we are going to be able to use these new 3D-capable HDTVs along with out computers to play games in stereo 3D or watch 3D movies! And considering that at the moment S3D gaming is the major driving force for the adoption of 3D-capable monitors why it seems that the TV manufacturers tend to completely ignore the most important factor?
Regarding videos things are not looking so bright, there is practically very little quality movies and other video content available in a stereoscopic 3D format and that is a serious issue. Hell, there are not even stereoscopic 3D trailers being officially released for movies that are being shown in 3D cinemas, something which is considered promotional material as should get you interested to go see the full movie in a cinema. There are mostly amateur stereo 3D videos that are being freely distributed or very few short demonstrations and that is all, the free content I mean, but even if you are ready to pay you are still out of luck. You’ll have a very hard time finding anything good in the form of stereo 3D movie that you can enjoy on your 3D-capable TV, unless if you want to go for crappy anaglyph videos, but for these you actually don’t need a special TV. Blu-ray 3D is soon going to be available, but at first there aren’t going to be a lot of movies for it. Starting at the summer we’ll probably have just a few titles by the end of the year, so in 2010 it might not be worth the investment for a 3D-ready HDTV, along with a Blu-ray 3D player just for watching 3D movies and there are not much of these. You might consider going way cheaper and just go watch them in a 3D cinema and wait some more, but that is if we are talking about getting a 3D-ready setup just for Blu-ray 3D this year…
And then comes the 3D TV where I suppose everyone is putting their trust into bringing the interest in 3D-capable HDTVs to a mass level, starting with the FIFA World Cup Football Championship 2010 in South Africa that is coincidentally going to start this summer. And there is a lot of trust put in the sports programs being aired in 3D that are supposed to bring crowds of fans of different sports in front of the TV, instead of them going to the stadium. But hey, don’t forget that not everyone likes to watch football or any other sport so that is leaving a big hole and leads to some common mistakes being done when there are global sports events happening – relying too much on the sports fans for pushing products, services and technologies. I’ll talk about the first 3D channels that we are expecting to start being aired very soon in a bit, but when I do that you’ll notice that all of them do plan to have sports events in 3D and that might just not be enough. After all you know the saying – the content is the king, and without the appropriate content 3D might not turn out so big at the start. And yes, I know there are already quite a lot of 3D-capable TVs available, but most of them are actually not been used even once for displaying 3D content and if you ask why, the answer will be very simple – no attractive 3D content being available. Anyway, let me get to the 3D TV channels that are coming later this year and in 2011 that are already announced and expected to be the first and enough with my pessimism…
Sky Channel 3D appears to be the first of the 3D TV channels that we are expecting to see, but this one goes on air in United Kingdom only, sometime in April. And they already did some interesting tests by broadcasting a football match between Arsenal and Manchester United in a few different pubs in London, Manchester, Cardiff and Edinburgh. And this test received quite good feedback from the people that were lucky to be actually watching the game in 3D. Have in mind that the April launch seems to be only related to having the 3D sports content being pushed to a wider number of pubs and not to the general public. And later in the year, Sky 3D will be made available to all Sky+HD customers with a range of content on offer, that will include movies, sport, documentaries and entertainment programs.
DIRECTV (names unknown), backed up by Panasonic should be starting up 3 dedicated 3D channels in the USA. They should be available beginning in June 2010, with customers of the DIRECT TV HD service getting a free software upgrade enabling them to have access to the new 3D channels through their 3D-ready television sets. DIRECTV’s new 3D channels will deliver movies, sports and entertainment content. Also DIRECTV is currently working with AEG/AEG Digital Media, CBS, Fox Sports/FSN, Golden Boy Promotions, HDNet, MTV, NBC Universal and Turner Broadcasting System to develop additional 3D programming that will debut in 2010-2011. At launch, the new DIRECTV HD 3D programming platform will offer a 24/7 3D pay per view channel focused on movies, documentaries and other programming, a 24/7 3D DIRECTV on Demand channel and a free 3D sampler demo channel featuring event programming such as sports, music and other content.
ESPN 3D is another channel that will be offering sports programs starting this summer (in USA), beginning June 11 with the first 2010 FIFA World Cup match South Africa vs. Mexico. The network plans to feature at least 85 live sporting events during its first year, but they’ll probably have other non-live sports content to fill in the holes, but the channel will most likely not be airing content 24/7 at first. Among the planned sports events to be aired live in 3D are up to 25 World Cup matches, the 2011 BCS National Championship Game, college basketball and football and the Summer X Games.
Canal+ 3D will be the first 3D TV channel in France with a launch date planned before Christmas 2010. The new 3D channel will broadcast movies, live events, sports and animation. With the current set-top boxes available to satellite subscribers of Canal+ said to be already compatible with the upcoming 3D broadcast, the only thing that remains is for the viewers to get a hold of a 3D-ready TV set.
3D Pictures is set to launch its own 3D TV channel by the end of this year in Spain. The new channel should be made available to the users via IPTV, satellite, cable, different mobile devices and so on. The channel is currently negotiating with suppliers of content such as sports, movies, concerts, entertainment, documentaries, animation, plays, circus, current affairs and high profile live events.
Discovery 3D (most likely name) by Discovery Communications, partnering with Sony and IMAX is another 3D TV channel competitor expected to launch in 2011 (in USA), but with plans to have content 24/7, unlike some early competitors. The program of the channel will feature high-quality premium content from genres that are most appealing in 3D, including natural history, space, exploration, adventure, engineering, science and technology, motion pictures and children’s programming from Discovery, Sony Pictures Entertainment, IMAX and other third-party providers.
But what happens if you don’t happen to live in USA, UK, Spain, France or Korea for that matter as they seem to be always ahead in terms of new technology – no 3D TV for you at least for now. Of course the major TV networks will soon have their 3D channels available in other countries too with localized subtitles, but that might bring other issues as 2D subtitles will not always look good over all 3D video content. And even then, there is the matter with you having to wear glasses every time you want to watch TV and that is also something that will take some time to getting used to for most of the people that are new to 3D. So in the end there are a lot of unknown factors yet ahead of the wider stereoscopic 3D adoption that everyone is betting on for starting the summer of this year.