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Ways 3D Will Revolutionize TV

Expert says lower camera angles, fewer pans/zooms and less editing will be necessary to maximize 3D effect.

Jason Knott · June 4, 2010

3D will not only change the way you watch TV, it will also change the way broadcasters shoot TV.

We should be prepared for lower camera angles, less camera panning/zooming and fewer “live edits” when you watch sports in 3D.

Those are just three of the changes live-action 3D broadcasters will have to make, according to Sandy Climan, CEO of 3ality Digital.

Climan also predicts:

  • Sports, concerts and kids programming will be the “killer apps” for 3D
  • Within five years, every sports programming broadcaster, all the major TV networks and many non-sports programming TV stations will have parallel 2D and 3D channels, like ESPN3D and DirecTV3D
  • In five years, many scripted dramatic TV programs and reality TV programs (not sitcoms) will be shot in 3D
3ality has been leading the way in helping broadcasters move to 3D. The company has already chalked up several “3D firsts,” including:
  • The first live-action movie shot entirely in (U2 3D)
  • The first live 3D simulcast of a concert (Black Eyed Peas)
  • The first 3D telecast of an NHL game (N.Y. Rangers vs. Islanders)
  • The first live 3D broadcast of an NFL game (Raiders vs. Chargers)
  • The first 3D episode of a scripted network program (NBC’s “Chuck”)

3ality Digital is spanning the globe to help broadcasters shoot everything from cricket to soccer to rugby in 3D.

“We all know sports is the killer app for 3D,” says Climan. “Once you see it in 3D, you don’t want to go back. The sports-fan demographic will go crazy for 3D.”

He mentions that during a private-screening of the NFL 3D broadcast back in a theater on Dec. 4, 2008, Hollywood executives were “mesmerized” by images on both the big screen and flat-panel TVs.

“One person told me it was the first time he could intuit what the running back was seeing to help him decide where to run,” says Climan.

Different Camera Angles, Editing

The big shifts that need to occur in 3D sports programming are camera angles and editing. “3D requires a different way for broadcasters to shoot the games,” says Climan. “They need lower angles and they will need less live editing and more long shots.”

In a football game, the director routinely cuts to different camera angles in the middle of a play, or the camera will pan/zoom to track the action. But using a 3D camera on a long static shot, it will be easier for the viewer to track the action. Thus, no “live edits” or panning/zooming will be needed.

It may also mean fewer cameras will be needed to cover the event. But that doesn’t mean broadcasters will be getting off cheaper. Climan says live-action broadcasters will soon have to set up separate 2D and 3D video feeds. Broadcasters currently send out the same video to the satellite for viewing in either 2D or 3D.

Climan says many live-action sports programming directors are just now learning the vernacular and techniques for shooting in 3D. 3ality is providing extensive training at the Sony Studios in Los Angeles. “It’s a different creative process,” he says, adding that directors are hungry to bring their own experimental ideas to shooting in 3D.

Concerts, Children’s Programming

Climan sees both concerts and children’s programming as strong drivers for 3D adoption. “Concerts in 2D are flat and uninteresting,” he says. “In 3D, you not only feel like you have the best seat in the house, but you are totally immersed … if it is directed correctly.”

“Kid’s programming will be stunning in 3D,” he adds. “The next generation of kids will only see movies in the theater in 3D. They are not going to be satisfied watching it in 2D at home.”

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  About the Author

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald Expositions Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at

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  Article Topics

Blogs · 3ality Digital · 3D · All Topics
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