Masters 3D telecast brings a whole new dimension to golf coverage
Besides Phil Mickelson’s shot from the trees on the 13th at Augusta National Golf Club, I saw something else amazing last week while watching the Masters. It was a 3D telecast.
Thanks to the nice folks at NVIDIA, I got to watch the special 3D presentation of the Masters, and while it will most certainly evolve over the next few years, it was somewhat extraordinary.
NVIDIA, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based computer graphics company, sent me a special laptop loaded with the company’s software as well as a special set of 3D glasses (more on the glasses later).
This isn’t the first time a sporting event has been broadcast in 3D. In March, an NHL hockey game between the New York Rangers and New York Islanders was broadcast in 3D with a special viewing party at the Madison Square Garden theater.
This really is groundbreaking stuff, not like the 3D of old. If you saw the movie “Avatar,” you know what I mean.
In golf, it really does bring a whole new dimension. TV viewers have never really been able to appreciate the change of elevation and ridiculous slopes of the greens at Augusta National until now. With 3D, you can really see the shapes of the greens complexes and I suspect the camera work was also directed to take advantage of that.
Since it’s a live event, of course, the action can’t be directed to take full advantage of the technology, but it was still pretty cool.
I didn’t watch it in 3D hours at a time – right now I’d still rather watch golf on a high-def big screen – but it was definitely worth checking out. New 3D television sets, by the way, can be purchased for under $3,000. You can also purchase 3D Blu-Ray DVD players.
Actually, some computers already have the hardware for this, and you can get the 3D kit from NVIDIA.com. The kit includes the special wireless glasses, software and an emitter for around $200. These glasses by the way, are pretty sophisticated. (An extra set runs around $150.)
"3D Vision uses a technology called active shutter, where each eye in the glasses has its own ‘display’ or lens,” explained Bryan Del Rizzo, senior PR manager for NVIDIA. “Each eye then flickers/shutters on and off 60 times per second alternating between left and right to give you the 3D effect. It is the preferred method for viewing 3D content as it can deliver a full HD experience to each eye with immense depth and color.”
I also got to check out some game demos in 3D, and that was really cool. Can you imagine the Tiger Woods PGA Tour video game (no jokes here) in 3D? Or better yet, I’d love to see a flight simulator in 3D. I’m sure they’re working on it if it hasn’t been developed already.
We’re probably just scratching the surface on this stuff. Perhaps, someday, golf and other sports will be in the form of holograms, and we’ll be able to walk around it just like we were at the event, except without having to fight the crowds.
As far as other major golf tournaments in 3D, nothing has been announced yet, but don’t be surprised to see it again this year. We’re already seeing more movies with this technology. It’s only a matter of time until 3D becomes the standard.
|« TPC San Antonio's A&T Oaks golf course ready to go||Phil Mickelson is true to himself in impressive victory at the Masters »|