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Sky 3D soccer fails to score

But first televised 3D footie match has its moments

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Sky had clearly given each pre kick-off camera shot plenty of thought, with each designed to maximise the impact of watching in 3D.

One particular, and frequently used, shot impressed me. A floor-mounted camera clearly brought home the distance between net, crossbar, seated fans and the stadium roof.

Sky’s 3D service performed triumphantly at making individual footie fans stand out from the crowd. Cameras swept above them at the Emirates Stadium and when one fan – I think he supported Arsenal – waved his team’s scarf, I felt as though its tassels had brushed my face.

But who wants to look at fans? As the game itself progressed and the pints went down, my enthusiasm for 3D football begun to fade.

Sky 3D football

Fans wowed by the close-ups

Close-ups of players, managers and assembled fans was what made 3D great. But the effect was totally lost while watching the pitch action in a widescreen at-a-distance shot. Players didn’t stand out from one another and I didn’t feel as though free kicks would hit me in the face.

None of Manchester United’s three goals managed to convince me that 3D football is the future.

Only at half-time was I reminded that I was watching a televised football match in 3D, as Sky once more went in for close-ups of players walking into the stadium tunnel.

Kudos to LG: its 3D TV performed flawlessly throughout. Each (good) 3D shot was crisp, clear and immersive. It had an amazing viewing angle, allowing me a good spec from any point in the room.

Sky has long said that content is key for 3D, and I agree. The broadcaster’s 3D service will appeal to hardcore football fans looking for new ways to enjoy the game without actually sitting in a windswept stadium. But it's hard to see it appeal to more casual viewers.

But on this first showing, 3D failed to make the beautiful game any more beautiful. ®

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