This is probably the first and last reporting on rugby you'll see from Popular Science, but when you broadcast a sport live in 3-D (while serving alcohol) some coverage is deserved. On Saturday, a select group of executives got to watch the battle between England and Scotland in three dimensions on a movie screen in West London. For the English in attendance, the extra-vivid depiction of a 15–9 loss to the Scots likely required additional pints, but more importantly spoke to a larger trend in making live 3-D broadcasts a reality. The 2007 NBA All-Star game was similarly telecast in an extra dimension for a few privileged viewers last year while U2 even offers their first 3-D concert to cost-conscious fans via video.
The BBC worked with The 3dFirm to provide the enhancement with standard cameras (plus the obligatory goofy glasses). They hope to broadcast both the upcoming World Cup and Olympics events (think badminton in 3-D) at theaters. Heading to your local movie theater or stadium to watch your traveling team in an additional dimension seems not so far off. Even home viewing is being actively pursued. Philips has a prototype screen due this year that won't even require the glasses.
Read more of The Score, our sports science blog, here.
I say "more" to rugby on popsci.....rugby is the thinking man's game, much more than the hooligans of soccer, the gangsters of basketball or the kevlar-encased 2-second wonders of American Football.
One of the few smart things ever said by a Frenchman (about 150 years ago) was that rugby was a game for hooligans played by gentlemen and football (soccer) was a game for gentlemen played by hooligans. Unfortunately said Frenchmen's colleagues then proceeded to spend the next 150 years munching garlic, avoiding showers, doing deviant things to cockerels and spectacularly losing to England over and over again.
So, thank you Mr Zarda...and please do your best to find other rugby-related subject matter....which could include why Aussies and Kiwis have a heightened gag reflex when games really count (see also "choke"), how an island of 200,000 people manages to produce 15 of the scariest blokes ever to play the game (Samoa), or how rugby players manage to get through 80 minutes of constant action of the same intensity as American Football without taking a 5 minute break for every 2 seconds of action and being protected from head to toe in space-age armour.....
An interesting article, the 3D broadcast was featured in 'The Times' in the UK yesterday. I think they decided on the 3D coverage to try and convince a few hundred people to watch a Scottish team play sport. Lionel Messi hit the nail on the head when he said that Rangers played 'anti-football'. The scots have perfected 'anti-sport' in a range of disciplines from the slowest 'fastest man on earth' in Alan Wells to a national football team without a striker since Ally McCoist.
Apparently they could only use 2 cameras so it didn't have all the close ups and different camera shots you usually get in TV coverage and they had the 5 Live commentary. I imagine it would have been a bit of a weird experience.
The last thing I saw in 3D was 'Beowulf' at the imax theatre in London. Pretty dreadful film but the 3D was cool, made me think it would be a good if expensive way of showing protein models and interactions or even 3D animations of cellular processes.
so, yes, more rugby on Popsci, I'd happily watch the choking antipodeans, the supersized somoans or the fragrant french but please don't make me watch Scotland attempt to play anything.
There is no doubt that the emergence of such technology in the sport of Rugby is a welcome breath of fresh air for the sport. Nor is it a coincidence that the first match broadcast involved the two nations it did.
We are all painfully aware of the need for England's game to progress beyond one dimension and now, thanks to 3d-Firm, they have managed to add two more dimensions.
This is no small miracle as English coaches have gathered the greatest strategic minds in the country, perhaps a think tank (or puddle in this case), and yet they have not managed to locate a second, let alone third dimension.
6 years ago it was believed that they had made a break-through discovery but it was soon determined that a drop kick did not fulfill the rugby fan's definition of another dimension. Since this time, it has become glaringly obvious that anything beyond one dimension was also beyong the scope of English rugby.
I applaud this new technology. At last we can watch the English play rugby and really believe that they have added another dimension.
I do love the partisan comments above, although I being Irish have nothing to cheer about in the 6 nations this year :(
I attended this screening and can confirm it was beyond the scope of people’s comprehension that it would be so impressive in 3D. Even simple shots like of the rain falling in 3D impressed. It was also HD naturally at high bit rate. The sound was impressive as they used 4 channel sound (quadraphonic) in such a way that it really made you feel part of the crowd.
Ideally more cameras for sure but the quality of the 3D was amazing. All the footage was in positive parallax (i.e. nothing came "out the screen") so it shows 3D can entertain in more ways than the Beowulf type experience.
I think this is the start of a new form of digital entertainment. Technically it is possible to deliver this kind of experience (ok.. sure without such expensive projectors) to a home via a custom STB and using a pair of basic HD projectors. Perhaps in small volume making the total in the $2K level.
The first issue is without seeing the experience you can’t “want” it. The second is you need more content. If you build it they will come.
@ LuxetVeritas: The thinking mans game would be cricket.
As much as I love rugby, fifteen meatheads having a muddy wrestle is not the most tactically demanding of sports.
As an accomplished deipnosophist of the highest order (see -\dyp-NOS-uh-fist\, noun: Someone who is skilled in table talk), I have postulated the merits of 3D rugby to my dinnertime colleagues at convention after convention since reading the Times' article. Hogging the pie I invariably pipe up and rattle at length on this subject to the bemusement of my West Coast colleagues. If idle talk were hard US dollar, I would now have well over £3 for all the hot air I've expounded on this technology - you can imagine that is one helluva lot of greenbacks (though I prefer barebacks myself).
Back to the point in hand, 3D rugby is clearly the future. More than any other medium, it translates perfectly onto the big screen, comprising 80 plus minutes of high octane adrenaline-charged excitement, big hits, visionary play and fabulous tries (and hopefully the camera digressing to observe the local sweeties in the crowd). Clearly, these merits of the tchonology are lost when the Scots come into any equation, being a dour, melancholy and opprobrious bunch, on and off the field. I say they should stick to the Fried Mars Bars, and keep well away from the sports' fields - in fairness, the vast majority do follow the US diet regime to porky monstrosity - and preferably erect a big 100ft wall around the whole Thistled carbuncle to prevent any undue migration. I would also change their national anthem at sporting events to 'God save the Queen', but that's another debate for another day.
So, 3d - the future, and for rugby, an exciting future, to admire the excellence of Anzac capitulation under pressure, witness the growth of Georgia as a nation of rugby warriors and revel in the delights of the Home Nations pounding away, full of fury, and signifying nothing in the usual way.
As for Fatfrank, that's just nonsense, of the unadulterated, thankfully abbreviated form.
If you l;ove rugby enough you'd
Build a platform with your forwards and either roll on from there or feed it out to your backs looking for for a gap to nip through or dink it over the top for a winger to run on to. No positional changes, just personnel. Pick what method you want to use most based on who you have available when compared to who you're playing.
In terms of spirit, commitment and strength you won't find a much better sport, apart from maybe rugby league ; ). But tactics? I'm not so sure.