Both of you who own a 3D HDTV and actually bother to charge and don the glasses to watch stuff in 3D, rejoice. NBC has announced it will broadcast 242 hours of the London Olympics, 12 hours a day, including tomorrow night's opening ceremony, in 3D.
NBC's 3D coverage (provided by Panasonic) will be available by nearly 80 percent of U.S. homes, assuming you have a 3D HDTV.
Among the cable systems carrying 3D Olympic coverage will be Armstrong, AT&T, Blue Ridge, Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox Communications, DirecTV, Insight, Mediacom, RCN, Suddenlink, Time Warner Cable, Verizon and WideOpen West.
That's the good news (unless your cable or satellite provider isn't listed).
The bad news is, you won't be able to watch any 3D coverage live.
For some bizarre reason, NBC won't be broadcasting anything in 3D live. Instead, the 3D telecasts will be broadcast on "next-day delay." I assume this means 24 hours afterward.
Boring 3D reruns
Okay, maybe the reasons for not showing the Olympics in 3D live aren't bizarre, but this is no way to get people to buy a 3D HTDV.
Sports is like leftovers - it's never quite as good as it was fresh. Once we know the result of a sporting event, all the suspense and entertainment flavor gets sucked out of watching it after-the-fact, even in 3D. This why guys scream "Don't tell me what happened!" when they're recording a game. Once we know the outcome, we rarely watch the replay unless something spectacular happened - and then we just fast-forward to the good parts.
Plus, if you're watching yesterday's events in 3D, that means you're not watching today's events live (unless NBC broadcasts the 3D versions after it's live coverage ends, which would make at least some sense).
Plus plus, some sports simply don't lend themselves to 3D, or the directors haven't figured out the best way of shooting them. I've seen a couple of basketball games in 3D, and they're nearly impossible to follow without getting an eye- and headache.
Fortunately, basketball isn't on the initial 3D coverage list, which includes:
- Opening and Closing Ceremonies
- Men's and Women's gymnastics
- Extensive coverage from the Aquatic Center, including both diving and swimming
- Bicycle racing (cycling) from the Velodrome
- Full coverage of track & field from the Olympic Stadium
Yes, the opening ceremonies of the London Olympics will likely be entertaining in 3D. But little else will once we know the results.
C'mon, NBC and Panasonic. If you want 3D to succeed, sports has to be broadcast live.