NFL Cowboys’ 3-D Demo Lasts Just Seven Minutes

The world’s largest HD screen continues to have its problems. The Dallas Cowboys had planned to demonstrate Dec. 13 how conventional 2-D HD video could be converted to 3-D HD through sophisticated software processing using technology from HDLogix, an Edison, NJ, startup. During their game against the San Diego Chargers at Cowboys Stadium, the Cowboys used the 160ft by 72ft video wall that hangs 90ft above the field to show 3-D “anaglyph” images that were created using HDlogix’s 2-D to 3-D conversion system, ImageIQ3D. It took feeds from the teams’ in-stadium cameras and converted them to 3-D for display on the giant LED video wall.

The Cowboys distributed the red and blue glasses required to watch the anaglyph 3-D images to the 80,000 fans attending the game and planned to begin showing the 3D images during halftime and throughout the second half. Apparently, the demo didn’t go so well. After seven minutes, the board was turned off after continuous loud “boos” from the fans. Most of the 80,000 never bothered to put on the 3-D glasses and saw a blurry anaglyph image. Some who did wear the glasses complained that the 3-D effect caused nausea.

HDlogix has the technology to display 3-D without the glasses, but it didn’t work when scaled up for the huge monitor at Dallas.

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Earlier this year, the 1.2-million pound, four-sided, $40 million display showed problems when Tennessee Titans punter A.J. Trapasso kicked a ball into the screen in a preseason game — the first-ever game played in the $1.15 billion stadium. It became apparent that the display was suspended too low. The NFL has ruled that the screen can stay in place — at least for this football season. Commissioner Roger Goodell also clarified rules, for this season only, on punts that ricochet off the HD screen.

By Michael Grotticelli, BroadcastEngineering