BBC Sport Executive Producer Paul Davies tells 3D Focus that, although 3D sports has its attraction, only time will tell whether it will appeal to mass audiences in the long term
Talking to 3D Focus during the Wimbledon Tennis Quarter Finals yesterday, Davies said 3D movies have an attraction but whether that will translate to the home environment and match the complete experience 2D coverage offers remains to be seen.
"I think when we talk about 3D we simply do not know. We know 3D per'se has its attraction. I think many viewers would have been to a 3D film in the cinema and fully appreciated the impact and immersive experience that 3D offers. From a sporting perspective I think the jury is still out.”
Davies, who is in charge of the overall Wimbledon Tennis 3D coverage, also spoke about the challenges of combining 3D with 2D production, especially in a small area like Wimbledon’s Centre Court.
“I think the initial impact of seeing sport from different angles is very alien to people. Initially they say ‘wow this is amazing’ when they put the glasses on but by the end of the first or second set they’re thinking ‘well I’m a bit too low down here and I actually want to get that main camera experience again because I can’t see the baseline or I am getting uncomfortable’… The impact is clear and there are certain challenges where we have to combine the 2D and 3D cameras in a small area like Centre Court. 5D cameras* are interesting and we are certainly looking at that like our main camera on Centre Court. This year we nearly made a 5D camera because there is simply no room to put a 3D master camera.”
In the same interview Davies also spoke about the success of the red button for sports coverage saying “What we are finding these days is the red button options are becoming extremely popular … We are seeing a very positive take-up of people going from BBC One/BBC Two output to, let’s say a snooker match, where we are often getting up to 900,000 even up to a million people switching over to these interactive options”.
The BBC will broadcast 3D coverage of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships on the BBC HD channel this weekend.
*5D cameras are a combination of 3D and 2D camera such as CPG’s Shadow D system.
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