Aside from the vuvuzela filtering and the demand for video replays of controversial decisions, there was also another newsworthy technology at the South African World Cup, 3D video.
Wheeeeee! For those with 3DTV sets, SBS and some broadcasters from other countries beamed out select games on a 3D channel. That’s all fine and well, but the mammoth production needs of 3D meant the World Cup was both a test and a serious step up in live 3D production. Broadcast Engineering summarises the technical achievements well ( for both on-ground filming and MPEG4 compression and beaming to each country), and notes that each game uses 8 cameras ( Sony HDC-1500 ), mounted on Quasar 3D rigs from Element Technica ( for mobility, and built in motors that allow for remote focus/iris/zoom control.), and are fitted with Canon HJ22ex7.6B lenses ( 7.6mm to 336mm with 2X Extender, f1.8 ). Pro-tip: After some quick googling, better keep aside $30K for the lense, $67K for the Quasar rig and $90K for the camera when budgeting for this kit.. )
3D Cameras Under $200
Available for pre-order through Amazon : the Aiptek 3D HD (720P) camcorder for $199. $199. USB, SD card, HDMI connect to HD-3DTV – and “additional software for the camcorder should allow you to upload the stereoscopic 3D videos you made directly to YouTube 3D. And you’ll also be able to watch the recorded content on your PC with the help of anaglyph red-cyan glasses coming with the device even if you don’t have a better solution like 3D Vision, 3D TV or anything else that is better.”
3D on YouTube
Apparently this has been available for a year, the fruits of Pete Bradshaw’s spare “20%” time at Google. Stereoscopic 3D clips can be uploaded to Youtube, which will mix in real-time in your browser, and which allows a 3D pull-down menu to choose 3D options ( eg red/cyan glasses / mirror split etc ) Tag your video with yt3d:enable=true to enable the pulldown menu of 3D-viewing options. Example clips?
360 Degree Cameras
Available since January, and a weirdly named competitor to the portable Flip cameras, SONY’s ‘Bloggie’ camera comes with a 360 degree view attachment, and software which translates this into an extremely wide panoramic video.
3D or Not 3D?
As Brazil prepares for hosting the World Cup in 2014, they may do well to heed Mark Pesce’s advice: “Keep doing that and you’ll go blind“, where he notes that humanoid depth perception requires 10 different cues, and that the slightly different imagery in each eye ( parallax vision ) is just one cue. Watching 3D means we eventually ‘turn off’ these other depth cues while watching, and with lots of 3D viewing, this can cause serious problems ( known as binocular dystopia ). Watch those banana kicks!