Boomshakalaka! First 3-D NBA Game Slam Dunks Into Homes in December
CREDIT: © Dgareri | Dreamstime.com
ESPN announced today that it will broadcast the first regular season National Basketball Association (NBA) game in 3-D on December 17 on the network's new dedicated 3-D channel.
The game will pit the Miami Heat and its vaunted triple threat of Dwayne Wade, Lebron James and Chris Bosh against a struggling New York Knicks franchise that might see better days this season with the arrival of superstar center Amar'e Stoudemire.
At least seven more regular season games will be shown on ESPN 3D, as the new channel is called, and the league has slated six playoff games for the 3-D treatment as well.
ESPN 3D, which launched in June, is presently available to around 45 million households in the United States via agreements with AT&T U-Verse, Comcast and DIRECTV, ESPN said in a statement. Time Warner Cable customers will also soon have access.
Viewing television at home in 3-D is well on its way to becoming more of a familiar item to consumers. Samsung, for example, unveiled the first sub-$1,000 3-D television set back in August, and market research firm DisplaySearch has predicted that shipments of 3-D TV to retailers will reach 3.4 million this year and over 40 million come 2014.
Meanwhile, professional sports leagues seem keen to try to take advantage of the action-packed nature of the format. The National Football League demonstrated its first 3-D broadcast for a preseason game on Sept. 2, and baseball and soccer have toyed with the technology as well. The NBA, for its part, took the first shot at screening a live sporting event in 3-D when it telecast the All-Star Game to special viewing parties in 2007.
To best use a 3-D perspective for hoops play, broadcasters will opt for less of the traditional high-and-wide shots and more "low-slash position" angles from the court's corners, the NBA's executive vice president for operations and technology Steve Hellmuth told the New York Times.
"There are things that you can see in 3-D that you can’t see in 2-D, and that mostly revolves around low-angle cameras that let you appreciate how fast the players are,” Hellmuth told the Times.
As any fan with courtside seats will tell you, however, this vantage point has its drawbacks.
"The ref might run in front of you," Hellmuth acknowledged.