Fox Sports to Create Aussie Television History with First 3D Sports Broadcast

Fox Sports will make Australian television history when it broadcasts live in 3D the Socceroos' last home match before the 2010 FIFA World Cup on May 24 from the MCG.

With the World Cup just around the corner, the groundbreaking broadcast of Australia's farewell match against New Zealand will utilise the latest Sony 3D production technology, offering viewers all around the country a captivating television experience they have never seen before.

Foxtel iQ2 subscribers with a 3D ready television will be able to watch the game in stunning 3D, immersing themselves with the sheer immediacy and visual clarity of the action as if they were on the pitch themselves.

The Australian first will screen on a specially set-up 3D channel (Channel 200) and will be called Fox Sports 3D. The coverage will also screen on Fox Sports 3HD (Channel 205) and Fox Sports 3 (Channel 503).

The exciting new development will add a third dimension for viewers at home, all made possible using the same Sony technology that will be used to broadcast the 2010 FIFA World Cup in 3D for various territories around the globe.

Fox Sports chief executive David Malone said: “Fox Sports is proud to be making history by delivering a sporting first to viewers around Australia. This exclusive Socceroos 3D experience takes television to an exciting new level for all sports fans.

“While the technology is still new and constantly developing, this is the way of the future and we’re delighted to be presenting this landmark 3D television event in an Australian first.

"As Australia gets behind the Socceroos on their way to the World Cup, fans around the country will now be able to experience the final home game in a revolutionary way.”

The live and exclusive coverage of the Socceroos’ farewell match against New Zealand will begin at 6.30pm (EST) on Monday, May 24 on Fox Sports 3 and Fox Sports 3D (Channel 200).

How Does 3D Work?
Your brain creates a sense of depth by combining the slightly different perspectives from the left and right eye of the same object or scene into a 'merged image' that includes depth information. Delivering the two different images on a single two dimensional screen to the viewer is a challenge as there is only one view available to both eyes. Fox Sports will transmit both a left and right image onto the same screen, and then the glasses that you wear filter out the correct image to each eye, to create the sense of depth of real life.

How are 3D Images Captured?
3D starts with recording content the way our eyes see it - from two different perspectives. Two HD cameras are used in a special camera rig to take aligned left and right images of the chosen scene so what you see at home is exactly what the cameraman sees whether he's on the touchline of a football match or in the heart of a car chase in a movie. The images then make their way through the broadcast infrastructure where they are compressed and positioned side by side in a single HD frame.

Does this Mean Fox Sports is Filming the Socceroos Game in 3D?
Yes. They will be using the latest 3D broadcast cameras from Sony to capture the match in 3D.

How are 3D Images Broadcast?
3D television is broadcast using a normal HD broadcast channel, through the Foxtel iQ2 set-top-unit, provided you have a 3D ready TV.

How are 3D Images Viewed?
There are two different 3D TV technologies coming to market now. The first, polarised screens, project both the left and right images onto the screen at the same time, and then a special filter on the glass polarises the left and right images differently, such that your 3D glasses then use a different left and right lens to filter the correct image to each eye. Your brain then does the rest. Active shutter glasses alternately 'block' one eye and then the other in sync with the TV, which is alternating left and right images on the screen at a very high rate (usually a minimum of 50 frames per eye per second). This is fast enough that the brain sees no gaps, and again, takes the two different views from left and right eyes to merge them into an image with depth. The best way to choose the one that suits you is to go to your local retailer and take a look.

How Does it Compare to 3D in Cinemas?
In essence the way in which 3D is shown at cinemas and how you can experience 3D at home is very similar. With Foxtel, you can be sure you'll get the best seat in the house as well as the added benefit of all the functionality of the iQ2 allowing you to pause, rewind and record 3D TV.

How Does it Compare to the 3D I Have Seen Through Red and Green Glasses?
The 'red and green' glasses form of 3D (anaglyph) was popular back in the 80s with Hollywood films like Jaws-3D. Although the principles are the same, the current 3D delivers a far superior experience. Anaglyph images suffer from a loss of colour, as the method for filtering out the left and right images strip out a wide range of colour from the image, making images dark and dull at times. It also creates an image that is hard for the brain to process, leading to the headaches and eye strain associated with 3D in the past. With Fox Sports 3D however, the picture you see will be as good as normal HD TV.

Can 3D TVs Only be Used to Watch 3D Content?
You can watch all the television you watched before. The new 3D ready TVs coming into the market will all be fully HD ready and able to display standard digital TV images too.

Will the Match Only Be Broadcast in 3D?
We will broadcast the Socceroos game on the standard Fox Sports and also Fox Sports HD channels, as well as on Channel 200 in 3D.

Source: Fox Sports