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American 'football' goes 3D

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Three select - and well-connected - audiences in Los Angeles, New York, and Boston were scheduled Thursday night to watch the first 3D broadcast of an American "football" game, according to Dvice.

The technology behind this demonstration event will be provided by 3ality Digital, a California company whose chairman, David Modell, just happens to be the former president of the Baltimore Ravens of the American "Football" Conference, and the son of Art Modell, the Raven's owner from 1996 to 2004. These affiliations are surely mere coincidences, The Reg assumes.

3D broadcasts of sporting events have been demoed in the US before, including, for example, a National Basketball Association game screened last March at the Magnolia theater in Dallas, Texas, between Mark Cuban's Mavericks and the Los Angeles Clippers, but the technology has yet to catch on.

The 3D-technology landscape is changing, however, as was evidenced by Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief executive of DreamWorks Animation, who appeared at this August's Intel Developer Forum to announce that all future Dreamworks animated flicks would be produced in 3D, and to demo 3D clips of the studio's Kung Fu Panda and upcoming Monsters vs Aliens.

According to figures cited by the Associate Press, by the end of this year an "estimated two million US TV sets will be capable of handling 3-D signals, about two per cent of the nation's estimated 114.5 million TV homes".

Whether or not tonight's "football" game furthers 3D's advance, however, remains to be seen. Despite the technical wizardry on display, the game will still be merely a dispiriting contest between the thoroughly embarrassing Oakland Raiders and the nearly equally woeful San Diego Chargers.

When there's a 3D broadcast of the English rugby team against the All Blacks at Twickenham, The Reg may pay more attention. ®

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