Coming Friday: How does this 3D stuff work on a live sporting event, anyhow?

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Free-lance camera operator Bill Scott of Glendale tests the 3ality side-by-side camera set up that will be at midfield for tonight’s game between the Chargers and Raiders at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.

We’re not quite sure specifically how this whole 3D thing works these days, but after talking to a few execs from the different companies putting on tonight’s test telecast of the Chargers-Raiders game from San Diego, we’;re a little more up to speed.

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It’ll be the focus of Friday’s media column, spinning foward as to how this technology is already being discussed that will allow Fox to present the BCS title game and major NASCAR events to the general public at select movie theatres starting next month.

“Each sport has a different complexion in 3D, but for me, when you put yourself in the ring at a boxing match, there’s some really special,” said Sandy Climan, the president and CEO of 3ality Digital in Burbank, which has been developing the technology for this kind of presentation over the last 10 years and now has it ready for live broadcasts rather than just movies and concerts.

“For any fan, or a moviegoer, it’s unlike any experience they’ve ever had,” said Climan. “If you’re at a stadium on the 50-yard line, that’s the best seat, but it’s only one seat. Nothing replaces a live game with 100,000 fans. But when you’re in a theatre with 400 fans seeing all the best angles of the action in ways that as a sports fan always wished he could see, that’s what we have now.”

Michael Lewis, the co-founder and CEO of RealD in Beverly Hills, which operates the delivery of the 3D feeds into theatres, says: “In the case of football, you literally feel like you’re on the field. A 3D version can transport you to a place you can’t go. That’s the magic of it.”

==USA Today’s Michael Heistand, discussing Fox’s plans to carry the BCS title game in January (linked here).
==A Daily Variety story on Fox’s plans (linked here)
==An Associated Press story of tonight’s telecast, noting that 3ality in Burbank has a major investor in former Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell (linked here)

Below, a shot of cameraman Bill Scott shooting a rehersal game on the Qualcomm Stadium field Wednesday night to see how the technology would work:

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