USC-Ohio State in 3D? Thanks, but we’ll punt, pass and kick it to the curb

UPDATED Tuesday AM with ticket information:


ESPN is calling it a test — an attempt on Sept. 12 to carry USC’s football game at Ohio State in 3D, and making it available to some so-called lucky folks around the country.

While ESPN carries the 5 p.m. contest in standard def, and ESPN HD has the high definition coverage, the network wants to try out its 3D production capabilites with a “special telecast” that will have separate production trucks, technical crews and on-air commentators.

The Galen Center across the street from the USC campus will have the 3D production but count on finding tickets so easy. They say the only way to get them is winning them through KSPN-AM (710). Spectators in Columbus, Ohio and Dallas will also have to win them as well through local ESPN radio affiliates.

According to the website (linked here), free tickets are available at:

— This Saturday’s intrasquad scrimmage at the Coliseum (pick up inside Gate 4 from noon to 3 p.m.)

— The Sept. 5 home game against San Jose State (pick up at Fanfest outside the Coliseum peristyle prior to the 12:30 p.m. kickoff);

— The Sept. 3 and 4 USC women’s volleyball matches at the Galen Center (pick up at the box office from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.);

— Heritage Hall (pick up is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays);

— The USC Ticket Office (from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays).

Having seen the NFL’s test of a 3D telecast last year when the Raiders played at San Diego, ESPN’s crew can hopefully learn from their mistakes. A football field, for starters, doesn’t lend itself nicely to 3D cameras, which are best when on the ground. Which makes shots of the cheerleaders about the only thing worth watching. When the cameras are high in standard positions, the 3D effect is hardly noticable. When the camera is low in the end zone or on sideline level — and, in the NFL’s test, with no graphics other than score and clock — you have no idea how many yards players actually pick up (or lose) on a play.

ESPN says it will use a true stereoscopic graphics and seven 3D cameras (with access to 2D cameras)

That said, the 3D telecast will also use Mark Jones and Bob Davie on the call (versus Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit on the “regular” telecast).

This will be ESPN’s first 3D telecast distributed after more than two years of testing. The new movie, “X Games 3D: The Movie” is currently in many theatres this week only.

“With more than two years of rigorous 3D research at various game sites, ESPN is taking the opportunity to integrate 3D testing in a live game telecast,” said Anthony Bailey, vice president, emerging technologies, ESPN. “The results of this research will enable ESPN to quantify what it takes to produce, transmit and enable the 3D experience for our fans.”

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