I was looking at the "free" HD On-Demand selections on TWC channel 1801 last night when I noticed that they had both a Masters and Masters 3D selection.
I never received a notice from TWC about the 3D possibility. Not that I have or intend on getting a 3D HDTV, but I found it interesting that there is actually some content to watch in 3D that is not on blu-ray.
With 3D, glasses are never half full By PETE DOUGHERTY, Staff writer First published in print: Friday, April 9, 2010
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Peering into the future, TV viewers of tomorrow all will look like Danny Gokey.
That's the side-effect to 3-dimensional television, which is getting tested here this week at the Masters golf tournament. Until they come up with a laser eye surgery for 3D viewing, you need to wear the battery-operated glasses, which will retail for $150-$200 when they become available. The Masters is the first major sporting event to be produced in 3D for home viewing. Few homes are equipped with 3D-capable TV sets, but the same was said about high-definition a decade ago.
Augusta National officials offered media covering the Masters an opportunity to experience this technology. If we grow weary of seeing "real" 3D by walking the course, we can sit down, put on the Gokey Gear made famous by last year's "American Idol" contestant, and consume non-flat-screen TV. (Well, the screen is flat, but it doesn't look that way.)
"I was honestly overwhelmed by the manner in which it captures our beauty and our topography," Augusta National chairman Billy Payne told reporters Wednesday. "I cannot imagine a better venue exists anywhere in the world for the introduction of three dimensional broadcasting, and I hope by the end of the week, all of you will agree."
At times, it is an incredible viewing experience. At other times, it can be a bit headache-inducing.
All 3-dimensional images are shot with two cameras. The Masters' 3D production has 12 pairs spread out over the back nine. On some shots it takes a second or two for the cameras to converge, which makes the picture seem blurry or double-visioned.
It's still a work in progress, but 3D is worth pursuing.
Close-up shots are incredible. People who are at the front of the picture seem to be in the room with you. A camera angle in Thursday's first round showed a fairway with a few tree branches in the foreground. You felt as if you could reach forward and swat the branches out of the way for a better view.
Wide shots aren't as dramatic, but it's on par with HD and should improve with time.
Golf seems to be an ideal sport for 3D. Much like HD, this new technology will help some sports more than others.
Augusta National's undulations -- something first-time visitors here marvel at, since standard TV just can't produce that look -- are more noticeable, but it's not as if you feel that a golf ball is going to roll into your living room.
That's probably a good thing. You'd hate having a golf ball wreck your new glasses.
Pete Dougherty is the Times Union's sports TV/radio column. He can be reached at 454-5416 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Visit his blog at blogs.timesunion.com/sportsmedia.