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Are You Watching the Summer Olympic Games in London in 3D?

August 9th, 2012 · 17 Comments · General 3D News

There was a lot of hype surrounding the 3D coverage of the Summer Olympic Games in London this year and now that we are nearing the end of this sports event it is time to watch the big question – did you watch the games in 3D, or in 2D or at all? Prior to the games’ start Panasonic has announced that most of the people in US would have access to the Olympic Games in 3D format, in UK there is also good coverage available considering it is actually hosting the games, Australia was also keen on broadcasting the games in 3D. But what about the rest of the world, actually many people in different countries were happy to get to watch the games in HD, let alone dream about being able to get 3D broadcasts. The reality is that 3D TV channels and 3D broadcasts are still from being widely available besides a few of the major markets, but even in the big markets with 3D coverage available it seems that not that many people actually watched the 3D coverage. Of course taking into account that still only a little percentage of the people that are covered with 3D broadcasts have 3D-capable devices to watch on it is to be expected…

But what about you, did you have 3D coverage, have you watched the Olympic Games in 3D, did you like what you saw or on the contrary – you were not interested in the 3D coverage and watched them in 2D, or maybe you were not even interested in the games? Also what is your opinion about watching sports in 3D? There seem to be a lot of efforts going in the direction of promoting 3D coverage of sports events as something to drive the interest and demand for 3D devices, but the question is if it is really doing that or not? I wasn’t lucky enough to get access to local 3D broadcast of the Olympic Games, so I do hope that after they finish somebody will make a Blu-ray 3D with the opening and closing ceremonies as well as some of the best moments. Not that big sports fan either, though I’m keeping an eye on the games from time to time, but what abut you? Feel free to share your comments and feedback below.

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17 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tom // Aug 9, 2012 at 22:07

    I am of the opinion that 3D at the Olympics was not the premier event. Sporting events are “ruined” when you know the results. The fact that 3D was on 24 hour tape delay takes the fun out of thing for the Olympic enthusiast. If 3D was broadcast at the same time as the regular prime time feed, I assure the ratings would be much higher. But potentially seeing the same event twice is equivalent to hearing the same joke twice, it really isn’t that much better the second time around; the 3D effect could be considered a novelty. It the law of diminishing return at play and to make 3D have the punch it needs, it needs to be shown when everyone is still interested in whatever the event may be. How would you like the Superbowl to be broadcast in 3D the next day? Nobody would watch it, the buzz is over.

  • 2 Sammaz // Aug 9, 2012 at 22:18

    DirecTV SBS was very blocky this year…I tried it a few times and it looks like it had been transcoded to MPG1 before broadcast. Every other sporting event on DirecTV has been awesome…Somewhere in the Olympics 3D workflow someone applied compression that is very visible. The producer is ultimately responsible for this.

    When they re-play I hope they find the source 1080i SBS tapes for us. Real bummer that 1 link in the post-production chain can cause weeks of bad broadcast.


  • 3 JohnDoe007 // Aug 9, 2012 at 22:59

    Hi! I’m surprised to hear that the 3D broadcast was completely delayed in the US. Fortunately here in Hungary the state media (as the Olympics Games broadcaster) and Samsung started a free experimental 3D channel broadcast back in June just to air the final match of the Eurocup of football (uhm, soccer), and the Olympics. Starting with the opening ceremony every day we get nonstop coverage (I mean with no ads) from 9am to 11pm. Depending on running event range, the coverage was 50-80% live (yeah, it’s much easier to do with only one hour time diff.). The Opening Ceremony was great, I enjoyed every minutes. The biggest problem of the coverage was that we could only watch a small fraction of the Hungarian competitors (we don’t have so many of them, ~150, and in 2D we can watch them for about 10 hrs a day) , so often I only could watch in 2D. The emphasized sports were swimming, diving, runnung, and gymnastics in 3D. Only 2 of the 8 Hungarian gold medalists could be shown winning in 3D. One of them was in pommel horse, the 3D effects were quite good. Everytime if there were no interesting Hungarian 2D event I watched 3D. The beginning of every swimming or running sessions, and the medal ceremonies were mostly shot with 2D cameras, that annoyed me a lot in a 3D channel, and I missed a bit the super-slo-mo shots. Finally I feel the opening ceremony and the Eurocup final were my biggest 3D experiences in this summer, and I hope that in Brasil the whole event will be shot only with 3D cameras (The World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016 too) and they wont disappear.

  • 4 Henrique Oliveira // Aug 10, 2012 at 00:22

    Here in Brazil we have the official 3D broadcast on a cable channel called “SporTV 3D”. It is a seasonal channel that only airs when 3D events are available.

    The broadcast is SBS, so we use the SBS function on 3D TVs to make the effect. The broadcast by SporTV 3D also features no commentaries, it just airs the original sound.

    It is nice for some events.

  • 5 steve // Aug 10, 2012 at 01:40

    I didnt catch the opening ceremony in 3d, but have directv in the USA here. The Olympic events do not lend themselves to interesting 3d. You really need something within 15 feet or its just rubbish. I could not believe how far back the 3d cameras were. They start with virtually no stereo base, then zoom in 50+ feet and its not even a 3d image you get. I think the 2d cameras got the best spots and the 3d cams were further back. I did not see 1 event that I thought it was good in 3d. Only the 3d cams they had when people were walking around with them, like after the running events ended, had 3d that was worth anything.

    I think the Olympics in 3d probably turned more people off to the concept of 3d than anything else. Seeing diving with a 3d camera over 50 feet from the diver is a complete waste. Its going to make people think 3d is worthless. Its certainly worthless the way they covered most of the events and thats because you just cannot get near the competitors. The 3d ads they had for 3d movies were great in contrast because they are made for 3d.

  • 6 merigoldsass // Aug 10, 2012 at 05:01

    can cable cards (you know the cheap alternative to piece of shit hd cable boxes) run 3d?

  • 7 marius // Aug 10, 2012 at 06:41

    I’m in the USA, on cable you had to pay extra, afaik, to get 3d (espn3d? others?). Also, delay.
    So no, didn’t bother.

  • 8 Pierre // Aug 10, 2012 at 12:14

    Here in France, only one provider is broadcasting the Games in 3D. Unfortunately, it’s nor mine…
    Owners of recent Panasonic 3DTV also have the opportunity to have 3D using a special applet (I have a Samsung 3DTV :-( ).

  • 9 3d4dd // Aug 10, 2012 at 17:31

    You can download the BBC coverage of the opening ceremony here:

  • 10 Bertrand // Aug 10, 2012 at 21:02

    I am in the USA, Time Warner Cable is my provider and tried ESPEN 3D for a month before the Olympic started. I am a big fan of 3D especially for video games and very tolerant when it comes to quality since I love the added value of a third dimension. I tried to watch Wimbeldon in 3D and it actually turned out to be unwatchable. The sound was out of sync with the image, and it seems there was a slight out of sync between lf and rt eye which made it very painful for the eyes. I tried to watch some of the X game as well but felt I was experiencing to much ghosting. Overall my experience with 3D broadcast has not been good so far. I canceled my subscription with ESPN 3D, and did not bother watching the Olympics in 3D . I have a 60″ BRAVIA LX900 Series 3D HDTV.

  • 11 Dust buff // Aug 11, 2012 at 09:55

    Yes, I watched it, it’s great. When I was a kid I had a viewmaster, with the round disks, and I found it to be a very nifty little thing,
    Now you have a supersize one that is more comfortable to watch through, and it shows moving images of almost live events among other things.
    And still there are people nitpicking about it. I think they shouldn’t buy a 3d tv then and try to find a way to be happy and full of enthousiasm for the things they do have and stop sounding like a spoiled brat. Or at least try to acknowledge the effort human beings have put into these inventions even if they seem to come from large greedy faceless companies.

  • 12 inteljoc // Aug 11, 2012 at 17:04

    Here in Canada, we didn’t have even a second of 3D footage. I am with BellTV and they only have one 3D channel that plays 3D previews day-long or special events in 3D. Unfortunately, Olympics were not available. I read some articles saying that the Canadian Media Olympics Consortium was not going to broadcast in 3D because the revenues could not justify the cost of it. But thats a vicious circle…. No 3D, no clients, no clients, no 3D !

  • 13 kingsmeadow // Aug 12, 2012 at 10:40

    Been in and around 3D for about 35 years. Mainly scientific stuff, both stills and dynamic. What I have learned over these years is that we only want 3D that jumps out of the screen, anything that does not, is boring and is like looking into a fishbowl. Sports on 3D Tv is just like that, and the reason is because if the 3D image begins to be hidden by the bezel, the effect is lost and the brain is disturbed by the effect. So the brioadcasters have taken the decision to push the convergence so that nothing jumps out of the screen, which makes watching, rather boring. Having said that, it’s still ok and some sport like boxing is not bad. But other sports like football is poor. It’s just ok nothing fantastic, in my opinion. They could do a better job, but it takes more money, and that is the bottom line. The opening Olympics 3D was OK, but not fantastic, the closing one may be tter as it’s going to be a musical theme, and they might do a better job on that, here’s hoping !

  • 14 adam // Aug 13, 2012 at 14:33

    We had daily 4 hour highlights here in Australia on next day delay in 3D. I recorded them all and have burnt them to bluray discs for future viewing as we are starved of 3D content “down under”.
    Looked good to me.

  • 15 Paul // Aug 13, 2012 at 20:32

    Here in Southern California, Cox Cable had the 3D feed as part of their package so I watched many hours in 3D. As mentioned, it was 24 hours delayed here in the States, so I was taping it at 2am or so and watching it the following evening. Sometimes I knew the outcome, sometimes I didn’t. The WORST part was the insanely annoying graphic for the DVD release of The Lorax that, I kid you not, ran EVERY ten minutes or so along the bottom of the screen regardless of what was going on. For example, when the incredibly touching scene of the 15 year old Lithuanian swimmer was getting her gold medal for the 200m breast-stroke with tears running down her face as she sang her national anthem, I had to watch the fucking Lorax, sound and all, run along the bottom of my screen. Embarrassing.

    That being said, I found the 3D effect and picture quality VERY good. We were having a party for my mom’s 70th birthday at my home, and I had about 20 people in my living room mesmerized and blown away watching the Trampoline qualifiers in 3D (we have a passive Vizio and tons of cheap 3D glasses for big parties). I was most sad that no soccer was shown in 3D…. but at least Cox had a dedicated Soccer Channel so I was at least able to watch those games live in 2D. Go USA women’s soccer! :)

  • 16 Joe // Aug 14, 2012 at 09:55

    The entire spectacle felt like one big ad Pardon the language, but FUCK YOU NBC and fuck you too Lorax. How did they manage to get away with showing that every ten minutes, DURING events, and obstructing the bottom of the screen – at least a 5th of the TV image!

  • 17 Adam // Jan 15, 2013 at 06:14

    So where is the 3D Bluray release?

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