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Nine Network (Aust) to broadcast Rugby League in 3D


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#1 Keith Walters

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 08:44 PM

Nine Network Australia to broadcast Rugby League State of Origin matches in 3D
This all sounds a trifle dodgy to me, since the plan was only formulated in February, and the matches will be in May, June and July!
Apparently they don't want to get bogged down with too many necessary details, but they're talking about also showing the match live in 3-D cinemas.
Several questions arise, although the question of whether us owners of old-fashioned 2-D HDTVs will be still able to watch has been settled at least; they're licensing a special, currently unused channel (Digital 31) for the occasion.
Another question is how many cameras they will have. At the moment most sports telecasts involve large numbers of cameras, big and small, to home right in on all the action. Doing all this in 3-D sounds problematic to say the least, given the size of many 3-D rigs. Not to mention twice as many signals to switch. Will we get slo-mo replay in 3-D, for example?

"Nine said last night it would encourage viewers to use wireless-enabled active shutter glasses to watch the matches in 3D, rather than the circular polarised glasses that movie-goers use."
Yeah, I'd encourage that, too, particularly since only active-shutter glasses will actually work with TV sets!
Also, all the 3-D movies I've seen here at any rate used the Dolby RGB left and right offset spectral filter system, which doesn't use polarization. I think that's got to be the eventual winner, since, although the glasses cost more, it works with ordinary non-metalized screens.
The NBT in late 90s cinema was supposed to be satellite delivery direct to the cinemas. Hard to believe it's now possible to do it via an unused Digital TV channel!

Edited by Keith Walters, 02 May 2010 - 08:45 PM.

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#2 Karel Bata

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 05:42 AM

We've been broadcasting 3D stuff in the UK for a while now. Hadn't you heard..?

http://bit.ly/UK3Drugby That is some OB truck!

http://hdtvorg.co.uk.../2010040101.htm

http://www.hdtvorg.c.../3D_TV_2010.htm
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#3 Karel Bata

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 06:05 AM

And we use polarised glasses:

Posted Image

It may not look it there, but I was talking to an Apollo cinema manager the other day (Apollo's a small chain that is adapting all their screens to 3D) and the fans are very well behaved. They tend to get drunk in the pub after the match. So will we see a growth in dedicated venues (probably so in countries where individuals can't afford their own 3D TV, and can you imagine what this would be like in Brazil?) or else a huge growth in personal ownership?
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#4 Keith Walters

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 06:17 AM

We've been broadcasting 3D stuff in the UK for a while now. Hadn't you heard..?


There have been quite a few demos before now in many parts of the world, but they've all been more or less "by invitation only". There have been some Pub events true, but they were all by satellite distribution.
This will be the first Free-to-air terrestrial 3-D transmission in the sense that anybody with the right TV set can receive it without subscribing to anything. As far as I know, nobody has yet done a 3-D DVB-T or ATSC broadcast, that's the "World First" part, although they will only be pippng ESPN by a few days.
Actually I'd be interested to know whether it would be possible to have a 3D Digital Set Top Box which can feed the multiplexed 3-D signal into an ordinary flat panel TV, as well as providing the drive signal for the 3D glasses. That would be a real enabling technology.
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#5 Karel Bata

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 06:32 AM

March 21, 2010:

Last year UK broadcaster Sky announced it would launch Europe’s first 3D TV channel. It has now revealed that Saturday April 3rd will be the kick off date, with the broadcast of a Premier League clash between Manchester United and Chelsea. Football fans will be able to don 3D glasses in over a thousand pubs and clubs across the UK and Ireland that have already signed up for the 3D service as will residential subscribers with the necessary 3D capable equipment.

http://www.gizmag.co...roadcast/14576/

13 April, 2010:

Sky has revealed that 200,000 viewers watched its 3D broadcast of Sunday’s FA Premier League match between Manchester Utd and Blackburn Rovers.

http://www.broadcast...5012646.article

Way ahead of you! :lol:

Edited by Karel Bata, 06 May 2010 - 06:33 AM.

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#6 Keith Walters

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 06:35 AM

And we use polarised glasses:

[img]

I didn't say nobody uses them; they're cheaper and give better results.
However to use polarized glasses the cinema has to install aluminized screens, since an ordinary white screen will kill the polarization.
The Dolby ones don't give as good a picture, but it's good enough for most people, and the installation costs are much lower for the cinema owner.

Every 3-D movie I've seen here has used the Dolby glasses, although I know that some places use the polarizing type.

No mystery there. New installations are more likely to use polarization glasses, because after all, they have to put some sort of screen in, and so it's no big deal to have a aluminized type fitted.
With existing installations, they already have a screen that's working well, and they may not be so keen to replace it. Hence Dolby. I mean if everybody starts insisting only Polarizing 3-D glasses will do, well then they get a new screen. They won't be any worse off.
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#7 Keith Walters

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 06:44 AM

March 21, 2010: http://www.gizmag.co...roadcast/14576/

13 April, 2010: http://www.broadcast...5012646.article

Way ahead of you! :lol:

Yeah, but like I said, that's a private subscription service. You have to sign up with Sky first before you can watch it (or go to some venue that does).
The Channel 9 ones will be free-to-air. No subscription required. No nothing. Just a 3-D TV and a TV antenna.

Anybody can rent extra transponder space on a Satellite, for a basically "closed circuit" operation. This is going to occupy an actual terrestrial broadcast TV channel, with all its potential reception problems. The broadcastng world will be watching with keen interest.
Don't know if anybody else will though :lol:
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#8 Karel Bata

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 06:55 AM

I was responding to:

...only active-shutter glasses will actually work with TV sets!

meanwhile "Football fans will be able to don 3D glasses in over a thousand pubs and clubs across the UK "
They are obviously using the polarised system which you claim does not work. I've seen it action, including a demo by Panavision who clearly have faith in it, and indeed it works!

As to whether the service is free or not - was that the main point of your post? You did say: "Hard to believe it's now possible to do it via an unused Digital TV channel!" which sounded like a technical comment to me...

If "a thousand pubs and clubs across the UK" can do it, rteception doesn't seem to be a problem.

Edited by Karel Bata, 06 May 2010 - 06:58 AM.

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#9 Keith Walters

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 07:00 PM

Satellite TV services such as Sky are essentially a microwave link between the satellite and the receiver. The advantages are:
  • They rarely suffer any interference.
  • Because of the high frequencies used, a larger number of channels is possible
  • One transmitter can cover a huge geographical area for relatively low cost.
Unfortunately, the very real disadvantages are:
  • Lack of access to the transmitter if it develops a hardware fault
  • More expensive receiving hardware is required
  • And most important, regional coverage is not really practical, meaning only nationwide interest programs, and more significantly, only nationwide interest commercial breaks are possible.
This is why, despite the availability of digital satellite broadcasting since the mid-90s, virtually all countries have adopted terrestrial digital broadcasting systems.
And, as I keep trying to point out, this will be the first time anybody has tried a terrestrial Digital TV broadcast in 3-D.
Nobody knows for sure how this will work in practice. In all likelihood, it will work fine, but until someone has actually done it, all opinions are just educated guesses.

"They are obviously using the polarised system which you claim does not work. I've seen it action, including a demo by Panavision who clearly have faith in it, and indeed it works!"
Could you show me where I said they didn't work?
Passive polarized 3-D glasses, like the Dolby non-polarized ones, only work with video projectors, where a rotating filter wheel can be retro-fitted to alternately filter the signals for the left and right eyes. This is what you have seen in the Pubs.
This is not practical on LCD or Plasma screens, they can only work with active LCD shutter glasses. A home 3-D system based on projection TVs is going to be dead in the water.

Edited by Keith Walters, 06 May 2010 - 07:01 PM.

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#10 Dominic Case

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 07:34 PM

Every 3-D movie I've seen here has used the Dolby glasses, although I know that some places use the polarizing type.

Sorry to but in on this private conversation . . . ;) but this surprises me. Are you talking about cinema here? (The conversation seems to drift around between cinema sports screenings, pub sports screenings, home projected TV, ordinary home TV at random.

But to my knowledge, the majority of cinema 3D installations in Australia have been RealD, which is the polarised system with reflective screens. Dolby, with the offset spectral system and plain screens is in there, but not so many screens.

Unless anyone can correct me with more up-to-date figures.

Or unless you (Keith) have gone out of your way to seek out Dolby 3D installations.
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#11 Keith Walters

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 12:48 AM

Or unless you (Keith) have gone out of your way to seek out Dolby 3D installations.


Certainly not.
I've watched 3-D movies in four different cinemas over the past year or so, three in Sydney and one in Port Macquarie. They all used the Dolby glasses. I diidn't seek them out, that was just what they used. Mostly I just happened to be in a shopping complex and I noticed that a 3-D feature was about start.
I've only ever seen one film (a couple of years ago down in the city) that used polarized glasses but I can't remember which cinema that was.

Perhaps it's just a coincidence; I haven't really looked into it.

But you must admit, it makes a lot of sense. If they choose the Dolby system, Multiplexes can then show 3-D whenever they want by simply hiring/renting/borrowing another digital projector.

In any case, remember that all this was started by this line from the original press release :lol:
"Nine said last night it would encourage viewers to use wireless-enabled active shutter glasses to watch the matches in 3D, rather than the circular polarised glasses that movie-goers use."

Edited by Keith Walters, 07 May 2010 - 12:51 AM.

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#12 Dominic Case

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 02:33 AM

But you must admit, it makes a lot of sense. If they choose the Dolby system, Multiplexes can then show 3-D whenever they want by simply hiring/renting/borrowing another digital projector.

That easy huh?
Most of the 3D movies that come out are blockbusters with a wide release. There wouldn't be many spare projectors around at those times.

Anyway, Dolby system runs on a single projector, with a spinning filter wheel. Once it's fitted, you can still run 2D movies on the same machine - just remove the wheel. What's the need for hiring another projector?

Back to the topic. What have the audiences been like in the UK for 3D sports coverage, Karel?
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#13 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 06:10 AM

That easy huh?
Most of the 3D movies that come out are blockbusters with a wide release. There wouldn't be many spare projectors around at those times.

Anyway, Dolby system runs on a single projector, with a spinning filter wheel. Once it's fitted, you can still run 2D movies on the same machine - just remove the wheel. What's the need for hiring another projector?

Back to the topic. What have the audiences been like in the UK for 3D sports coverage, Karel?


Interestingly enough the RealD add ons are as expensivice as a whole digital projector, to buy, you also have to have a lease with Real D for service, supply of glasses etc.
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#14 Keith Walters

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 06:33 AM

Anyway, Dolby system runs on a single projector, with a spinning filter wheel. Once it's fitted, you can still run 2D movies on the same machine - just remove the wheel.

Well they all do, don't they?

What's the need for hiring another projector?

Erm, so you can use it in another theaterette that doesn't currently have one? (Not all 3-D cinemas use full-size projectors, in fact I think "boutique" cinema is going to be the NBT).

If you want to use the polarized glasses system you have to:
A. Install an electronic projector with a 3D filter wheel and
B. Install a metallic screen, otherwise it won't work.

With the Dolby System step B is unnecessary
I can just point a Dolby type 3-D projector at the side of my garage or a sheet hung on my clothesline, put on my glasses and I'd have 3-D.
To use a polarizing type, I'd have to very carefully spray the side of my garage with silver paint.

So Dolby: Move film projector out of the way, plonk down electronic projector, switch on, focus, connect 3D media, sell tickets, popcorn and overpriced soda pop, hand out glasses. Total time what? - 1hr maybe?

RealD etc : All the above plus fit new screen. Total time - who knows; bloody sight longer than an hour I'd imagine.
All this and more is on Dolby's website.
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#15 Karel Bata

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 06:40 AM

"What have the audiences been like in the UK for 3D sports coverage?"
Hard to tell with a thousand venues providing the service. Sky report 200,000 viewers in April, and that figures 'double every week'.
Hmm.. in theory, if that continues the whole universe will be watching by the end of the year. :lol:

Keith, I know nothing about the technicalities of satellite broadcasting, but I understand from the link above (oh here it is again) http://bit.ly/UK3Drugby that it's broadcast here with L and R squeezed anamorphic into one frame, and then decoded at the receiver, so for broadcast it's just another digital HD channel. "Sky 3D will launch on a free basis to Sky’s top tier customers who also subscribe to its HD channel pack" http://www.digitaltv...third_dimension So it seems that all you have to do is subscribe and get a 3D capable set. Nothing demanding, just maybe a bit pricey.

"virtually all countries have adopted terrestrial digital broadcasting systems" We have both. There are certainly issues with terrestrial reception. I'm not surprised if 3D is only really possible with satellite, and thus may prove to be a huge boost to it's further adoption. Maybe that's the rationale behind SKY huge involvement here. It certainly tempts me to subscribe. :huh:

There's a bit of a myth about this notion that conventional 2D flatscreen TVs are 3D capable using active glasses. Fact is, they'd have to be capable of 100fps (120fps in NTSC countries). And there's the referesh time. Most people buy the biggest flat screen they can afford, often settling for 8ms. I don't know how good/bad that is technically, but subjectively for 2D it's not a big deal. However for dedicated 3D sets I notice that 3ms are often quoted. So most folks would have to buy a new TV.
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#16 Keith Walters

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 06:48 AM

Interestingly enough the RealD add ons are as expensivice as a whole digital projector, to buy, you also have to have a lease with Real D for service, supply of glasses etc.

Right from the very beginning with their cinema sound upgrades, Dolby have always placed great emphasis on ways to save exhibitors money, not try to paint them into expensive corners.
With cinema sound, you could start with nothing more than one of their improved optical pickups and see (well hear) an immediate benefit even with your old existing sound system. As your budget permitted you could add on more bits, getting a progressive improvement every time, until you were ready for a full surround system.
This soft-sell approach is one of the reasons why Dolby systems dominate cinema sound today.

As for RealD, anything that Sony have a stake in is never going to end well. :lol:
They thought they had they game sewn up with SDDS...
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#17 Keith Walters

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 06:52 AM

Well they all do, don't they?

No, actually they don't. RealD uses some sort of hideously expensive Kerr-Cell type gadget instead. But still, you take that off for 2-D, same thing.
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#18 Keith Walters

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 06:57 AM

"Keith, I know nothing about the technicalities of satellite broadcasting, but I understand from the link above (oh here it is again) http://bit.ly/UK3Drugby that it's broadcast here with L and R squeezed anamorphic into one frame, and then decoded at the receiver,

There appear to be about 600 different ways of doing it at present, which raises questions about the viability of buying a dedicated 3-D TV. Still, there'll always be Blu-Ray I guess.
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#19 Keith Walters

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 06:36 AM

Sigh. I might have known...
Guess who's behind this sudden induced labour to deliver 3-D to the heaving masses.
Good ol' Panavision.
Yep, here comes sure-fire-this'll-turn-all-that-red-ink-into-black scheme #351.1.1 :lol:

I am close to 100% certain that live action 3-D is always going to be a lame duck technology.

Computer generated 3-D on the other hand is already enjoying solid success and this is sure to continue. In fact I predict that in a few years virtually all animated features will be available in 3-D, since going from a 2D animation to 3-D is a purely mechanical function, not an artistic one.

But live action 3-D to me always looks at best forced, and at worst, a complete waste of time. With cartoons, if the 3-D doesn't come out quite right on a scene, you can re-program and re-render until you get it right. You can't do that with live action and it shows.

Maybe for porn, but that's about it :P
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