3D wows State of Origin

State of Origin 2010 match pulled a record 2.54m viewers.
(State of Origin II 24 June 2009, Sydney, image by Pierre Roudier, CC BY-SA 2.0)" link="/rugby-league-state-of-origin/show/79553/summary.html" target="_blank" loc="right">

Nine's test broadcast of 3D is deemed a success, while the game pulls the year's biggest audience.

If you're lucky enough to own one, 3D television is a very impressive toy.

Wednesday night's State of Origin match by Nine proved just how captivating it could be once it becomes cheaper with more 3D content being broadcast.

Around 5000 sets are estimated to have been sold so far, at a starting price of around $2,500 each. Two pairs of spectacles are supplied with each set, with extra ones costing upwards of $150.

But the elite who were watching the Nine broadcast would no doubt be waxing lyrical about the pictures they saw from the game. Nine had two production teams covering the NSW vs. Qld match, one for the standard 2D signal on Channel 9 and another filming exclusively for 3D on Channel 40.

That meant different pictures being sent out for the one game.

Ken Sutcliffe welcomed viewers to the historic 3D broadcast and finished by holding the football up close to the camera for maximum 3D effect. It worked a treat.

Rather than fizzling out as a failed experiment, the broadcast hinted at what will be in store for the future. Sometimes it was like being there at the game. Many of the camera shots were taken from a low, spectator angle to demonstrate depth of field.

With only seven cameras filming in 3D, many of the shots were necessarily wide-angle, which wasn't when the 3D worked best. Shots with people in the foreground were a lot more entertaining -- even if it means somebody accidentally walked in front of the camera. Raindrops falling on the lens triggered surprise reactions.

The game also pulled a huge audience for Nine with 2.54 million viewers watching, predominantly in Sydney and Brisbane. That makes it the biggest audience of the year and a new record for State of Origin.

Nine CEO David Gyngell said, "It was a triumph for all involved, from the players down. And apart from the record audience, Nine's broadcast was world class."

The experiment with 3D was a winner, widely acclaimed by those lucky enough to experience it.

"My only regret is the limited access to 3D, but that's about to change big time in the months and years ahead. It is also a learning curve for us as broadcasters, so the certain expectation is that we'll deliver even better coverage in the rest of the series."

Two more State of Origin games will be broadcast in 3D, with select World Cup games to follow on SBS. Seven is said to be keen for the AFL Grand Final to be aired in 3D.

Sports fans have never had it so good.

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