I went to see the BCS Championship bowl game last night in 3D at a local theater. First of all, I should say seeing a live event like this was a real experience and could be the Saviour needed for the movie theaters. They get a premium price for the tickets, $25 each, and with limited outlets pack the theater.
They tried to make this like a real game experience with beverage vendors that sold beers, soft drinks and bottled water. Except for the lighting, which needed to be dark, the surround sound and fellow football fans gave the feeling of being there with a narrator. Speaking of the narrator, Kenny Albert did the play by play and from what I hear did as good or better job than the main FOX network.
Where the network would have commercials and halftime show, there were some various 3D short films shown and I must say they were fairly entertaining. They did have a few commercials as well, mostly for Playstation 3 games.
The technology they used was the polarized glasses where every other frame was shown in a different polarized light for the left and right eye. I don’t know the frame rate, but it was sufficient to be flicker free. The video looked like it was shot in 720p and scaled to 2k. A bit soft, but very watchable. They had quite a few times when one of the cameras (we think for the left eye) would go out of focus and screw up the video to the point I had to close an eye to be able to stand it. More times than it should have been, in my opinion. For the second half we discovered that wearing two sets of glasses (one on top of the other) cleared up a lot of the picture and made it much more comfortable to watch even though it was a bit dimmer.
The production was so-so. Too many sideline shots during the live play. The traditional 50 yard line shot from the top of the stadium was used sparingly and that what I’m used to for the live play. It seemed like that camera was the one that went out of focus on one eye the most so they could have been having an issue with it. I’m used to sideline and end zone shots for the replays, but they used those mostly, so it almost seemed like I missed half of the game. Some how seeing a play from the perspective of the middle linebacker just does not cut it. Most of the time you couldn’t see the ball or ball carrier when they used that shot. The shots from behind the offense was much better, but not as good as the long shot where you can see more of the field. Maybe the director was trying to show off 3D, because those shots did show 3D better, but to me a good 3D production would be free of 3D gimmics and just show the material as though it were 2D.
I recorded the game on my DVR so I could have a comparison and to me the production and shot selection was much better on the network. But it was not in 3D, of course, so given the choice of watching one or the other, I’d still pick the 3D even with the shortfalls.
This was a historic event being the first live 3D sporting event broadcast nationwide to selected theaters. There was a NFL game between the Chargers and the Jets back on Dec.4, but it was only shown in three cities Boston, Hollywood and New York City. This broadcast went to 81 theaters in 35 different states, so that’s why I say it was a nationwide broadcast.
For a first go, I’d rate it 4 out of 5 stars!