Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Watching sport in HD and 3D

Sport has long been a central part of many broadcasters schedules, and with recent technological advances such as high definition and 3D televisions, sports broadcasting has evolved to exciting new heights.


Photo: Gramophone Maryland

The first 3D broadcast on Sky was a Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester United, since then Sky’s single 3D channel has been inundated with live 3D sport. Along with football, rugby, boxing, golf and even darts have all been broadcast in 3D.

Viewing sport in 3D gives increased depth to an image allowing a viewer to feel more like they are watching the event live and therefore feel more immersed in the action.

Whilst 3D is unlikely to ever be used for every live sporting event due to the prohibitive costs involved in doing so, broadcasting select big events in 3D can really add to the aura of a match or tournament.

High definition viewing is more established and accessible than 3D for many. The vast majority of sporting events on television are available to view in high definition, whether on Sky Sports HD or the terrestrial channels HD services.

3D Glasses
Photo: John Biehler

Watching sport in high definition lacks the initial ‘wow’ factor of 3D. However, there are still numerous benefits to viewing in this way.

In high definition picture quality is sharper, brighter and more detailed. As a result individual players and incidents are easier to identify. The difference between a foul and a dive can be seen more clearly as well as whether the ball has crossed the line for a try in rugby.

Be aware that both of these technologies require additional equipment and subscriptions to operate – 3D is probably best left to sports and movies fans for now. HD services provide a much broader range, and new programmes are being shot in HD all the time for fans of all genres. For example, Shooting Stars with Vic and Bob, recently returned to our screens in HD and looks better than ever.

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