Skip navigation

Well, we’ve launched a new website just in time for NAB, so if you’re looking for our new, updated blog, you can find it here.

Enter for a chance to win a ‘behind the scenes’ trip to an upcoming 3ality Digital 3D shoot or high-end 3D glasses.

Yes, we thought we’d have a little fun at NAB, given that it’s looking like the breakout year for our favorite obsession:  stereoscopic 3D entertainment.

So, we’re hosting a sweepstakes at the show that could make 3D your, ahem … reality.   Simply visit 3ality Digital at NAB, either at our booth  (Booth #: SL4514F in the 3D Pavilion), or at one of its partner booths, and enter to win high-end 3D glasses, or the grand prize of a trip to an upcoming live 3D shoot with 3ality Digital.

There are three entry points and only two steps that need to be completed in order to be entered into the sweepstakes:

  1. Follow @3alityDigital on Twitter
  2. Tweet about 3ailty Digital at NAB or the future of 3D using the hashtag: #3alityNAB
  3. OR Retweet a @3alityDigital tweet using the #3alityNAB hashtag

OR

  1. Check-in via Foursquare (location: Official 3ality NAB) at the 3ality Digital booth (Booth #: SL4514F in the 3D Pavilion) and tweet it out to your friends

You can also check-in and tweet onsite via Foursquare (Official 3ality NAB) from any of 3ality Digital’s partner locations:

  • Sony (Booth #: C11001)
  • Panasonic (Booth #: C3712)
  • Ikegami (Booth #: C5108)
  • Grass Valley Group (Booth #: SL106)
  • Bexel (Booth #: C6419)
  • Vinten, division of the Vitec Group,  (Booth #: C6025)
  • NAGRAVISION Kudelski Group (Booth #: SU4912)
  • EVS (Booth #: C9508)

Prizes include:

Daily Prize – Each day that the exhibits are open (Monday – Thursday) five (5) pairs of Microvision Optical 3D designer glasses will be given away in a daily drawing. Microvision Optical 3D designer glasses can be used in many 3D theatre systems, with certain current consumer electronic televisions, in addition to use as designer sunglasses.

  • Winner will be randomly selected from all the entries made that day at 5 p.m. PT on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and 1 p.m. on Thursday
  • One entry per person, per day – Tweet once each day to be entered in that day’s drawing
  • Entries made on Saturday or Sunday will be entered into Monday’s drawing

Grand Prize – On the final day of the show, a grand prize winner will be selected to experience an upcoming 3ality Digital 3D shoot – live, in person. Go behind the scenes with 3ality Digital to see the inner workings of a 3D video shoot, including 3D camera rig setups, 3D production techniques, and stereography.  Recently concluded events include: the first live 3D telecast of a sports event in the US, with Cablevision and the NHL ; the first live 3D concert simulcast with the Black Eyed Peas and AEG Live, and first golf tournament shot in 3D: the 2010 Sony Open.  Flights and accommodation to be provided by 3ality Digital.

  • Winner will be randomly selected from all daily entries received Saturday – Thursday on Friday, April 16 at Noon PDT.

How to participate:

Twitter

  • If you don’t already have an account, sign up for free at http://www.twitter.com or via a mobile application
  • Follow 3ality Digital at: www.twitter.com/3alitydigital
  • Write and post a tweet using the #3alityNAB hashtag to be entered to win one of the daily prizes and the grand prize

Foursquare

  • If you don’t already have an account, sign up for free at www.foursquare.com or via a mobile application
  • Check-in at any of 3ality Digital’s show locations (listed above) using the Official 3ality NAB checkpoint
  • Tweet your Foursquare check-in

Spread the word for your chance to win!

Winner(s) selection

Winners (Daily and Grand prize) will be notified through Direct Message on Twitter from @3alityDigital. Daily prize winners can either claim their prizes at the 3ality Digital booth by Thursday at 2 p.m., or they will be mailed following the show via standard USPS.

You can also find sweepstakes details and official rules available here: www.twitter.com/3alitydigital or www.facebook.com/3alitydigital.

Official Rules (yes, we have to do this)

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPSTAKES. A PURCHASE OR PAYMENT WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. YOU HAVE NOT YET WON. Subject to all federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and ordinances. Sweepstakes begins at 12:01 AM Pacific Time (“PDT”) on April 10, 2010 and ends at Noon PDT April 16, 2010 (the “Sweepstakes Period”). Void in Puerto Rico, Guam and outside the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, and where prohibited by law. Sweepstakes is sponsored by 3ality Digital LLC (“Sponsor”).

ELIGIBILITY: The #3alityNAB Sweepstakes (the “Sweepstakes”) is open only to legal U.S. residents currently residing in one of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia who are at least 18 years old at the date of entry. Employees of 3ality Digital, their respective related companies, as well as the immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings and children) and household members of each such employee are not eligible. Subject to all federal, state and local laws and regulations. Void where prohibited. All entrants must become a follower of @3alityDigital on Twitter.com. Note: entrants must remain a follower of @3alityDigital through April 16, 2010 because winner notification is via Direct Message. Sponsor reserves the right to verify the eligibility of winners. Participation constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and to Sponsor’s decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Sweepstakes, and entrant’s full and unconditional agreement with the Twitter Terms of Service and all applicable policies for use of Twitter.

TO ENTER:

Via Twitter: During the Sweepstakes Period, eligible persons can enter by using the hashtag #3alityNAB in their tweets on Twitter.com. An eligible person can enter up to one (1) tweet per day using the hashtag #3alityNAB, by (1) tweeting with hashtag #3alityNAB or (2) retweeting a tweet from @3alityDigital that uses the hashtag #3alityNAB. Sending direct messages to @3alityDigital on Twitter.com does not count as a tweet. Only one (1) tweet per day using hashtag #3alityNAB will be entered into the Sweepstakes from each entrant. Tweets will only be eligible during the Sweepstakes Period. The time stamp applied by Twitter will be used to determine whether a tweet was timely received during the Sweepstakes Period. Each entrant agrees and acknowledges that entrant’s twitter name and photo may be featured and made available to the public on the web page http://www.3alitydigital.com/NewsBlog/Blog/tabid/100/Default.aspx and at twitter.com/3alitydigital.

Via Foursquare: During the Sweepstakes Period, eligible persons can enter by checking-in with Foursquare, and tweeting this check-in for tracking purposes, at the 3alityNAB checkpoint at the 3ality Digital booth (Booth #: SL4514F in the 3D Pavilion) or any of 3ality Digital’s partner locations:

  • Sony (Booth #: C11001)
  • Panasonic (Booth #: C3712)
  • Ikegami (Booth #: C5108)
  • Grass Valley Group (Booth #: SL106)
  • Bexel (Booth #: C6419)
  • Vinten, division of the Vitec Group,  (Booth #: C6025)
  • NAGRAVISION Kudelski Group (Booth #: SU4912)
  • EVS (Booth #: C9508)

Entrants are solely responsible for the content of their tweets or retweets, and agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless the Released Parties (as that term is defined below) from any and all claims, losses, lawsuits, actions, investigations, costs and expenses (including attorney’s fees) arising out or relating to their tweets or retweets. All tweets and retweets (a) must be relevant to your 3ality Digital experience at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show or be related to the future of 3D, (b) must conform to the Twitter rules and policies, and (c) must not contain any content that is offensive, derogatory, discriminatory, false, misleading, obscene, or defamatory or that violates any intellectual property right, privacy right, publicity right of any person or entity, or that violates any law, statute, rule, regulation or order. Repeat or duplicate tweets or retweets are discouraged. Any person or entries violating these rules may be disqualified by Sponsor in its sole discretion.

Entries must be submitted by the participant. Use of automated entries or programs or entries submitted by third parties is prohibited and will be disqualified. Any attempt by any participant to obtain more than the permitted number of entries by using multiple and/or different identities, registrations, addresses or any other method will void all of that participant’s entries and that participant may be disqualified at Sponsor’s discretion. Entrants may only use a single Twitter account to enter the Sweepstakes; multiple Twitter accounts are prohibited and entries from multiple Twitter accounts by the same entrant may be disqualified. Normal Internet and usage charges imposed by your online service may apply. Incomplete, illegible, corrupted, or untimely entries are void and will be disqualified. All entries will be captured and saved by Sponsor, provided that Sponsor and its agencies are not responsible for lost, late, incomplete or misdirected entries; lost, interrupted, or unavailable network, server, or other connections; or miscommunications, computer or software malfunctions, technical failures, garbled transmissions, damage to a user’s computer equipment (software or hardware), or other errors or malfunctions of any kind whether, human, mechanical, electronic or otherwise. Proof of sending or submission will not be deemed to be proof of receipt by Sponsor. In the event of a dispute as to the identity of an entrant, the authorized account holder of the Twitter account used to enter will be deemed to be the entrant or participant. The “authorized account holder” is the natural person assigned a Twitter account from an email address by an Internet access provider, online service provider, Internet service provider, or other organization (which may include an employer) responsible for assigning Twitter accounts from email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted address. Potential winners may be required to show proof of being the authorized account holder.

SELECTION OF WINNERS: The Daily Prize winner(s) will be randomly selected using a random number generator each day of the contest at the following times: 5 PM PDT on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, April 12, 13 and 14, and 1 PM PDT on Thursday, April 15, and notified by Direct Message on Twitter within one day after selection. Entries received on Saturday or Sunday, April 10 and 11 will be entered into the Monday Daily Giveaway drawing. Entries received after the drawing time each day will be entered into the following day’s drawing. The Grand Prize winner will be selected out of all eligible entries received during the Sweepstakes Period using a random number generator on Friday, April 16 at Noon PDT, and notified by Direct Message on Twitter within one day after selection.  If a potential winner does not respond within 72 hours after the first attempt to notify him/her that he/she has been selected to receive the prize, that potential winner will be deemed to have forfeited the prize, and Sponsor will select an alternate potential winner in his/her place at random from all eligible entries received. Alternate potential winners will also have 72 hours to claim the prize, and must satisfy all eligibility requirements. Winning the prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.

Except where prohibited, each potential winner will be required to complete and return an affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release (the “Affidavit/Release”) within seven (7) days of being notified. If the potential winner fails to sign and return the Affidavit/Release within the required time period, or is unavailable to accept the prize within the time period specified by the Sponsor, that potential winner will be deemed to have forfeited the prize, and an alternate potential winner will be selected in his/her place in a random drawing from all eligible entries received within two (2) days of the date the potential winner is determined to be ineligible. Noncompliance with the foregoing, failure to abide by these Official Rules, or return of the prize notification as non-deliverable may result in disqualification and naming of an alternate potential winner. Up to two alternate winner drawings will be held, after which any remaining prizes will remain un-awarded.

POTENTIAL WINNERS ARE SUBJECT TO VERIFICATION BY SPONSOR, WHOSE DECISIONS ARE FINAL AND BINDING IN ALL MATTERS RELATED TO THE SWEEPSTAKES. AN ENTRANT IS NOT A WINNER OF THE PRIZE UNLESS AND UNTIL ENTRANT’S ELIGIBILITY HAS BEEN VERIFIED AND ENTRANT HAS BEEN NOTIFIED THAT VERIFICATION IS COMPLETE. PRIZES: 21 prizes in total will be awarded, consisting of:

  • Daily Prize – 20 pairs of Microvision Optical 3D glasses. Approximate retail value of each prize is $35.
  • Grand Prize – Trip for one person to experience a 3ality Digital 3D shoot – live, in person at an event within the continental United States. The specific location and time of the 3ality Digital 3D shoot will be determined by 3ality Digital at a later date; but the shoot will occur not later than 2010.   Exact flight and accommodation arrangements will be provided by 3ality Digital in its discretion. Approximate retail value: $1500.

Winners (Daily and Grand prize) will be notified through Direct Message on Twitter (not public to other followers) from @3alityDigital. Daily Prize winners can claim their prize at the 3ality Digital booth at the NAB show (Booth #: SL4514F in the 3D Pavilion) by Thursday, April 15 at 2 PM. If not collected in person, the prize will be shipped directly to each sweepstakes winner within two weeks of the Sponsor’s confirmation of the winner’s compliance with all requirements for the award of the prize. The chances of winning a prize depend on the number of eligible entries received. Prizes are not transferable and not redeemable in cash. There are no prize substitutions, except that Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal value if the stated prize is not available. Each winner is responsible for all income and other taxes incurred in connection with their receipt and use of the prize.

GENERAL CONDITIONS: This Sweepstakes is governed by the laws of the United States. Void where prohibited by law and outside the United States. WARNING: ANY ATTEMPT BY A CONTESTANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEB SITE ASSOCIATED WITH THIS SWEEPSTAKES OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE SWEEPSTAKES MAY BE A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAW, AND, SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, 3ALITY RESERVES THE RIGHT TO PROSECUTE AND SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. Neither Sponsor nor anyone acting on its behalf will enter into any communications with any entrant regarding this Sweepstakes, except as expressly set forth in these Official Rules. Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any individual it finds to be attempting to tamper with or undermine the entry process, the company’s Twitter account, web site, and/or the legitimate operation of the Sweepstakes; to violate the Official Rules; or to act in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner or with the intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any other person. Sponsor and its agents are not responsible for (1) any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by entrants, printing errors or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Sweepstakes; (2) technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to malfunctions, interruptions, or disconnections in phone lines or network hardware or software; (3) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Sweepstakes; (4) technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Sweepstakes or the processing of entries; or (5) any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrant’s participation in the Sweepstakes or receipt or use or misuse of any prize. If, for any reason, the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of Sponsor, which corrupt or affect the operation, administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Sweepstakes, Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, void any suspect entries and (a) cancel or terminate the Sweepstakes (or any portion thereof); (b) modify the Sweepstakes or suspend the Sweepstakes to address the impairment and then resume the Sweepstakes in a manner that best conforms to the spirit of these Official Rules; or (c) award the prize at random from among the eligible, non-suspect entries received up to the time of the impairment.

RELEASE AND LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY: BY PARTICIPATING IN THIS SWEEPSTAKES, ENTRANTS AGREE THAT SPONSOR AND ITS PARENTS, AFFILIATES, SUBSIDIARIES, REPRESENTATIVES, CONSULTANTS, CONTRACTORS, LEGAL COUNSEL, ADVERTISING, PUBLIC RELATIONS, PROMOTIONAL, FULFILLMENT AND MARKETING, WEB SITE PROVIDERS, WEB MASTERS, AND ADMINISTRATOR, AND THEIR RESPECTIVE OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, REPRESENTATIVES, AND AGENTS (THE “RELEASED PARTIES”) WILL HAVE NO LIABILITY WHATSOEVER FOR, AND SHALL BE HELD HARMLESS BY ENTRANTS AGAINST, ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY INJURIES, LOSSES OR DAMAGES OF ANY KIND TO PERSONS, INCLUDING PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH, OR PROPERTY RESULTING IN WHOLE OR IN PART, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, FROM ACCEPTANCE, POSSESSION, MISUSE, OR USE OF ANY PRIZE, ENTRY, OR PARTICIPATION IN THIS SWEEPSTAKES OR IN ANY SWEEPSTAKES RELATED ACTIVITY, OR ANY CLAIMS BASED ON PUBLICITY RIGHTS, DEFAMATION OR INVASION OF PRIVACY, OR MERCHANDISE DELIVERY. BY PARTICIPATING IN THIS SWEEPSTAKES, PARTICIPANTS AGREE THAT THE RELEASED PARTIES WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE OR LIABLE FOR ANY INJURIES, DAMAGES, OR LOSSES OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES TO PERSONS, INCLUDING DEATH, OR TO PROPERTY ARISING OUT OF ACCESS TO AND USE OF THE WEB SITE OR THE DOWNLOADING FROM AND/OR PRINTING MATERIAL DOWNLOADED FROM THE WEB SITE.

EXCEPT WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW, PARTICIPATION IN THE SWEEPSTAKES CONSTITUTES WINNER’S GRANT TO SPONSOR (WHICH GRANT WILL BE CONFIRMED IN WRITING ON REQUEST OF SPONSOR), THE RELEASED PARTIES, AND THOSE ACTING PURSUANT TO ITS AUTHORITY, THE RIGHT AND PERMISSION TO PRINT, PUBLISH, BROADCAST, AND USE, WORLDWIDE IN ANY MEDIA NOW KNOWN OR HEREAFTER DEVELOPED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WORLD WIDE WEB, AT ANY TIME OR TIMES, EACH WINNER’S NAME, USERNAME, OPINIONS, TWEETS, RETWEETS,  BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO HOMETOWN AND STATE) and the Grand Prize winner’s name, voice, image, likeness and appearance in behind-the-scenes footage and/or interviews relating to such winner’s attendance at the 3ality Digital shoot,  FOR ADVERTISING, TRADE, AND PROMOTIONAL PURPOSES WITHOUT ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATION, COMPENSATION, PERMISSION, OR NOTIFICATION. ENTRANTS AGREE THAT SPONSOR SHALL OWN THE ENTRIES, WHICH WILL NOT BE ACKNOWLEDGED OR RETURNED, AND THAT SPONSOR AND ITS DESIGNEES SHALL HAVE THE PERPETUAL, WORLDWIDE RIGHT TO EDIT, PUBLISH, AND USE THE ENTRIES AND THE CONTENT OF ANY TWEETS OR RETWEETS, IN ANY WAY AND IN ANY MEDIA FOR TRADE, ADVERTISING, PROMOTIONAL, AND/OR OTHER PURPOSES AS SPONSOR AND/OR ITS DESIGNEES MAY DETERMINE WITHOUT FURTHER CONSIDERATION TO ENTRANTS OR ANY THIRD PARTY.

WITHOUT LIMITING THE FOREGOING, EVERYTHING REGARDING THIS SWEEPSTAKES, INCLUDING THE SWEEPSTAKES HASH TAG, WEB SITE AND PRIZE, ARE PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. SOME JURISDICTIONS MAY NOT ALLOW THE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSIONS OF LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR EXCLUSION OF IMPLIED WARRANTIES, SO SOME OF THE ABOVE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSIONS MAY NOT APPLY. CHECK LOCAL LAWS FOR ANY RESTRICTIONS OR LIMITATIONS REGARDING THESE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSIONS.

DISPUTES: Except where prohibited, entrant agrees that: (1) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Sweepstakes or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the United States District Court for the Central District of California or the appropriate State Court located in Los Angeles, California; (2) any and all claims, judgment, and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering the Sweepstakes, but in no event attorneys’ fees; (3) under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim, indirect, punitive, incidental and consequential damages and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses, any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of the entrant and Sponsor in connection with the Sweepstakes, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of California, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of laws rules (whether of the State of California or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of California.

OFFICIAL RULES & WINNERS LIST: For a copy of the Official Rules, visit: http://www.facebook.com/3alityDigital or http://www.3alitydigital.com/NewsBlog/Blog/tabid/100/Default.aspx. The winners’ name will be available after confirmation, on or about April 16, 2010 on twitter.com/3alityDigital

Sponsor: 55 E. Orange Grove Avenue, Burbank, CA 91502-1827

Administrator: Edelman, 24th Floor, 5900 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Information collected from entrants is subject to Sponsor’s Privacy Statement. For information about the Sponsor’s Policies and Service Agreements, go to: http://www.3alitydigital.com/ContactUs/GeneralInquiries/tabid/89/TermsOfAgreement/tabid/94/Default.aspx

© 2010 3ality Digital LLC. All Rights Reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

iPhone shot of the 70' screen at the Regal Cinema.

Last night, 3ality Digital was proud to have set another milestone — this time with the help of a certain Grammy Award-winning hip hop group who happen to be big fans of S3D.   We shot the first S3D concert simulcast ever done in the US:  the sold-out Black Eyed Peas concert at LA’s Staples Center, which was delivered live, in magnificent S3D, to the 70-foot screen in the Regal Cinema’s Premiere Theater at LA Live.

You could feel the electricity in the theater:  the pre-show music was playing, the fans were amped, and then –hey presto! — will.i.am appeared on the scene, donned a pair of 3D glasses, and gave a big shout-out to the crowd.   Everyone was delighted.  Fifteen minutes later, the concert was on, and it was just like being in the front row.  Maybe even a bit better, actually — the concessions were nearby, and you could still dance in the aisles, if you were so inclined.

It was a seminal experience, one that showed the world that this is indeed the future of entertainment.  We’re glad that BEP shared our vision (we can’t think of a funkier crew to be with!), and we also want to thank our partners at AEG Network Live for making this happen.

Yes, we know we said our next blog post would be our answers to Questions for Your 3D Tech Provider.  Consider this a warm-up, because we felt that these issues were so important that we needed to address them right away.

In many emerging markets, folks often start offering products and expertise before they’re fully-baked.   There’s a bit of that going on in terms of 3D technology right now, and we thought that pointing out the following facts might be helpful to people who are interested in mounting world-class 3D sports productions.

If you’re planning to shoot and broadcast live sports in 3D, the 3D system you use absolutely MUST HAVE the following capabilities.  Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for disaster.  Granted, you may consider “disaster” an extreme sport, but if you don’t, look for these things:

1) Zooms. And not just any old kind of zooms:  automatic, repeatable, perfectly-aligned zooms that can be done remotely.  Picture this:  Tracy Porter has just snagged an interception 80 yards away and is hoofing it down the field.  Your cameraman has Porter squarely in his sights.  Would you prefer to wait for someone to adjust the zoom by hand, and adjust it again and again during Porter’s mad dash, stopping to check alignment all the while and trying to ignore the fact that the lenses don’t match — or would you just prefer it to WORK, as it does in a 2D shoot?  We thought so.  (3ality Digital’s systems feature motorized, sub-pixel-accurate and repeatable zooms.)

2) Fast set-up – that stays set up. Unlike feature film production, sports is an every day business.  Hoops playoff this day, baseball all-stars the next.  You need to bring in your gear, set it up, and conduct a perfect shoot.  The fact that you’re shooting in 3D shouldn’t have an impact on your schedule.  You should be able to move fast and not worry about whether or not your cameras are working in concert, just as in a 2D shoot.  And you should be able to do it all yourself — no 3D “middleman” telling you it’s all very seriously complicated and only he can do it for you — right before he takes eight hours to set up.  Yup, you just missed Van der Sar’s first big save, while you were waiting.  (3ality Digital gear can be up and running in about an hour, and that includes alignment time.  Once aligned, the system stays aligned.  If something untoward happens — say that midfielder turns out of bounds and crashes your rig — settings are recorded and repeatable, quickly and easily.  And we train you how to use our systems, so you can do it without us.)

3) Perfectly aligned images, right out of the camera. Sports fans like graphics with their games.  Graphics help them keep track of what’s going on.  Unfortunately, graphics must be generated on the fly and placed dynamically.  (If we all knew what was going to happen during each game, we’d be in Vegas right now, wouldn’t we?)  If the images are not aligned, those beloved graphics are going to give sports fans a headache and maybe even make them a bit ill.   Not the general reaction we’re expecting to a front-row POV at a Lakers game.  (3ality Digital’s systems let you track and adjust alignment on the fly, down to the sub-pixel.)

4) Metadata feeds for graphics. Unfortunately, it’s just not enough to generate perfectly-aligned images for the guys who do the graphics.  They also need to know where to place the graphics in 3-space.  Another picture for you:  Manny Ramirez has just pounded a big fly ball, and is on his way to first base … running right through the stats box.   By providing a constant stream of detailed metadata on things like inter-axial distance between lenses, convergence, and depth parameters, you help your graphics guys know exactly where to place their boxes, every time.  (3ality Digital’s systems constantly provide dynamically-generated metadata that can be passed along to all parts of the workflow.)

5) Consistency in depth, especially between edits. Your EVS guys work hard for you:  cutting together games, creating instant replays, throwing in a little slo-mo for dramatic effect.  Meanwhile, in 3D, if depth parameters jump around from shot to shot, your EVS guys are going to generate a hodge-podge of clips that run the risk of making your audience feel woozy and perhaps abandon the game for reruns of “Two and a Half Men.” (3ality Digital’s systems let you set depth parameters, and automatically adjust settings when those parameters are about the be violated.)

So, there it is.  The five essentials for shooting sports in 3D.  Don’t believe us?  Take a look at our resumé.  We’d be happy to provide references, as well.

At 3ality Digital, we’ve made it pretty clear that our whole reason for being is to enable everyone to create great 3D entertainment.  Where’s the joy in keeping it to ourselves?  We’ve designed our systems to work with existing infrastructure, to use familiar controls, and to produce super-accurate imagery right from the camera.  (We love our post-production friends, but “fixing it in post” is not really an option we believe in — use your post time for fun stuff.)   We also know that you have no time for a middleman — we’ll train you how you use our gear, so you can do it yourself.  No need to hire us and a custom truck for every single job.  We put you in charge of your own shows.  Don’t believe us?  Why not ask Sky? Or the NHL?  Or Fox Sports?

However, we know you have to do your due diligence.  So we’ve designed a set of questions you should ask any potential 3D technology provider.  We’ve even uploaded them as a PDF, so you can print them out and take them with you.  Just click here:  3D tech provider questions.   And the next blog post will feature our answers to those questions, so you’ll have the very best of benchmarks to use for comparison.  If we don’t have significantly more, er … dimension … than anyone else, we’ll eat our figurative three-dimensional hats.

Bloomberg Television came to see us last fall and shot this segment.  Not only is it an excellent primer on the 3D marketplace (albeit before DirecTV, Discovery & ESPN announced 3D TV broadcasts), it puts us in illustrious company — we’re happy to be mentioned in the same breath as our friends at DreamWorks Animation any day.

Enjoy.

Photo from SkyNews

Well, Sky has certainly gotten the ball rolling in a big way:  They’re launching their new 3D broadcast channel with a bang, featuring the sold-out Arsenal vs. Manchester United Premier League Football match this weekend.  The match will be broadcast in 3D to nine pubs in the UK that have been outfitted with LG 3D-enabled televisions, using SkyHD satellite receiver boxes that have received a firmware upgrade, enabling them to handle 3D.  Exciting, yes?

Well, we haven’t even told you the best part yet:  The game will be shot using 3ality Digital’s camera platforms and image processing software. We’ve been working with Sky for months to prepare for this big day … and we’re absolutely certain it will go down a treat for all involved.

At 3ality Digital, we’ve long been evangelists for 3D to the home.  We’ve also been convinced that sports will be a key driver for this new medium — and it looks like we now have a very significant flock of believers.

In action at the Sony press event.

Earlier this year, Sony announced their commitment to 3D in a big way, and we were delighted to participate in their press event yesterday, where our 3D camera and image processing platforms were used to shoot a live performance of the lovely and talented Taylor Swift singing “Romeo” (our personal favorite of her repertoire).   In addition to rolling out their new line of 3D-enabled Bravia televisions, Sony also announced the expansion of the Playstation network – which will carry 3D content — a groudbreaking partnership with Discovery Channel and Imax to produce a 3D channel, and last, but not least, a year-long sponsorship of ESPN’s new 3D sports channel.

We were also lucky enough to be present at Panasonic’s press conference, where they not only showed off their new 3D TV line (the amazing 152-inch screen was not in the room, sadly), but also announced their partnership with DirecTV on that company’s 3 new 3D channels.  A slew of networks are also joining the party, including Turner, CBS and NBC (we’re hoping they show off the digital 3D version of “Chuck vs. the Third Dimension,” which we shot for them.)

Taylor Swift in 3D

Although not out on the show floor (they’re in a private suite),  our partner Nagravision will be demonstrating  the 3D TV user interface we helped them develop using knowledge gleaned from our 3play™ image optimization technology.   You may just see this on your cable or satellite set top box in time for this summer’s World Cup in 3D.

If you’re at the show, please come see our newest camera platform (under glass in the Sony booth!), or keep an eye out for our footage on Sony, Samsung, LG and Mitsubishi televisions, or in the Broadcom booth.  We also may pop up in a keynote.  We’re just sayin’.

Photos from Engadget.

Here at 3ality Digital, we were delighted to find out that we made Sports Illlustrated‘s list of “Ten Innovations We Love.”   Mind you, this list was not a recap of 2009, or even the past couple of years:  it spanned the entire decade.  To be compared to such transformative experiences as the first HD Super Bowl broadcast and the invention of dual-tuner DVR’s — well, let’s just say that we’re very, very honored, and a bit verklempt.   You can find the article here.

The 2009 BCS Championship was the first 3D sports broadcast open to consumers.

No form of entertainment will do more to feed home viewers’ appetite for 3D than sports. Sports are compelling, dynamic, and downright pulse-pounding. And fans are, well, fanatical.

But they are also fickle, which creates a challenge for 3D sports broadcasters. All the action that makes a sporting event so exciting to watch also makes it incredibly difficult to produce pristinely. With no second takes and no marks for the “actors” to hit, there’s little room for error in image capture and transmission.  Shooting and broadcasting in 3D requires systems with rock-solid reliability, easily repeatable configurations, and a high degree of automation.   After all, if you screw up the “money shot” in a sports broadcast, you don’t get a second chance, and you certainly can’t “fix it in post.”

That new third dimension also presents challenges that were solved long ago for 2D broadcasts:  Where do you place the graphics?  How do you handle quick cuts from one hot spot to another?  How do you generate instant replays in slow-mo?  The flexibility and adaptability provided by camera rigs integrated with software-based 3D image processing become key.  Using mechanical 3D rigs that require manual settings won’t get you to the goal line:  it’s like playing the game with your third-string QB.

Given all the interest in 3D sports broadcasting being generated by the upcoming Winter Olympics, World Cup soccer events and the 2010 launch of Sky’s 3D channel with its heavy emphasis on sports, this is a critical moment for the medium.

The industry needs to deliver a state-of-the-art experience to the fans of global sporting events. If it does, game over: 3D is a bona fide hit with home viewers. If it doesn’t, even the medium’s most ardent supporters will be left with a (literal) headache and the disappointment of a pivotal opportunity lost.

Sky Trials 3D Broadcasts at the O2
World Cup Games To Be Filmed in 3D
Sports in a new dimension