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NFL Thinks Beyond HD, Tinkers With 3-D

If you thought that watching football in high definition seemed more realistic, just wait until you can view a game in 3D.

Next week the National Football League is broadcasting live in 3-D a game between the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders to theaters in Los Angeles, New York, and Boston. The event, to be held December 4, is a demonstration to show how the technology can be used to provide a more realistic experience in a theater or in the home.

The NFL has invited representatives from consumer electronics companies to view the event in an effort to drum up support. In addition to showing the game on a big 3-D screen, the demonstration will include television displays to show what could be possible in people's homes, The Wall Street Journal reported. Some consumer electronics makers have already begun making 3-D television sets, mostly to accommodate DVDs that are available in 3-D. But the industry is still working on standards for 3-D.

Just as live sports entertainment has pushed the adoption of high-definition TVs, it could also help drive standards efforts and adoption of 3-D TVs.
Burbank-based 3ality Digital will shoot the game with special 3D cameras and transmit the game via satellite service to the three theaters. Real D 3D is providing the displays in the theaters and is overseeing production and transmission of the 3-D broadcast.

This isn't the first time that the NFL has demonstrated 3-D technology. In 2004, it filmed the Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers in 3-D. Sandy Climan, the CEO of 3ality, told The Wall Street Journal that when he shows the footage from the taped 3-D Super Bowl, "people crouch down to catch the ball. It's as if the ball is coming into your arms."

Even though other live events like operas and circuses have been broadcast live in 3-D to theaters around the country, the event on December 4 will be the first time that the NFL has broadcast a game live using the technology.

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