3D gathers momentum

Fox Sports is about to create a broadcasting milestone on Jan 9 when it will transmit a regular college football match in 3D.

While the company admits that few “ordinary” viewers will see the results of its efforts, visitors to the important Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas will see the results of its efforts, plus a few enthusiastic fans who can grab the telecast at cinemas around the nation.

David Hill, Fox Sport’s chairman, an alumni of BSkyB and one of the pioneers of HDTV’s development in the USA, announced the scheme at a conference in Los Angeles on Dec 3.

Last week, the National Football League (NFL) announced that it will trial high-definition 3D production and presentation technology by broadcasting tonight’s (Thursday) game between the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders in 3D HD and beaming the signals by satellite to movie theaters in Boston, Los Angeles and New York.

The NFL game and Fox Sports match will use kit from 3ality Digital, which also captured the U2 in 3D movie, as well as the live 3D interview with Dreamwork’s Jeffrey Katzenberg at September’s IBC technology show in Amsterdam.

David Hill told delegates that the cost of covering the college football game in 3D would not be cheap, and he talked about $200,000 per game just for equipment. He added that retail TV equiment manufacturers would need to plough cash into 3D events to help cover these costs.