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Movie Theaters Aim for Live 3D Sports 150 150

teutonic_leech writes "ZDNet has an article claiming that movie theater operators plan to be screening live 3D sports events by 2007 in a bid to lure sports fans away from their home theater systems and bolster sagging mid-week ticket sales." From the article: "Other chains are looking to much-improved digital three-dimensional projection for an experience theatergoers can't get at home. But while the projection has greatly advanced from the early 3D days, special glasses must still be worn to achieve the full effect."
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Movie Theaters Aim for Live 3D Sports

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  • Beer? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TwilightXaos (860408) on Saturday March 25, 2006 @05:36AM (#14993062)
    So they are actually going to be selling beer in the movie theater for sports?

    The cinemas brought in vendors to stroll the aisles with hot dogs, peanuts and beer

    Will the prices be the same as at the ball park?

    If so, I would reckon that it won't be a big hit. The main reason I do not go to the movies is the price, and not just of the tickets. I would pay $8 or so a ticket if I could get a 42oz Coke for under $2 or so.
  • by CaptainPotato (191411) on Saturday March 25, 2006 @06:58AM (#14993158) Homepage
    ...at a cinema in St Kilda (Melbourne) at 4am with 400-500 other people. The atmosphere was absolutely fantastic. People were standing up, cheering, waving flags (no firecrackers or flares, at least). I'd definitely do it again. In fact, I did. I organised about six games to be shown live in the University cinema where I was working. Even though it wasn't brilliantly advertised, the cinema was pretty much full each time and people really enjoyed the group atmosphere and got into the swing of it.

    Trust me, a sports telecast in a cinema is very different from seeing a normal film, at which people are expected to be quiet (unless it's a 1950s b-grade, I suppose). It's a lot more like being at a stadium than watching a television.

    If I could go to a cinema on a Sunday night and see a live Formula One race (no waiting around for a delayed telecast), I'd be there every race.
  • Re:Beer? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 25, 2006 @07:06AM (#14993167)
    Yes. The sign at the theater not to bring in outside food or drink.

    Are you serious? Wow, your country is even more screwed up than I thought. Here in Australia there was public outrage when the major cinema chains tried to implement a similar policy last year, and it was quickly reversed. I'm surprised the same thing didn't happen over there.
  • video in stereo (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thedletterman (926787) <thedletterman@nOSPAm.hotmail.com> on Saturday March 25, 2006 @07:14AM (#14993180) Homepage
    I've been a long-time proponent, that HD wasn't the next logical step in video, but stereo vision. Our eyes use 2D with lighting coming from different angles at two receptors to build three dimensional images using our mind. We don't truly see in 3D. Portble movie players like the video ipod will not take off with a 2" screen... but with a special pair of glasses that use a 1/4" lcd projection onto the lenses to create a 3D stereo effect with the device(s) connected via bluetooth broadcast... now we are taking advantage of technology. Super-low power consumption, 3d video, share the experience with your friends... it's how portable video was meant to be. Add a charging pad similar to many digital cameras for the glasses.. no wires.. you've got the ipod video killer. Now if only i could patent a stereo-video encoding format...
  • This Is True. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CheeseburgerBlue (553720) on Saturday March 25, 2006 @07:59AM (#14993226) Homepage Journal
    A company I was contracting for flew me down to L.A. two summers ago to pick the minds of Hollywood 3-D talent before engaging in the production of a complex 3-D corporate production up here in Canada.

    (The experts I talked to were mostly Canadians themselves. L.A. seems to have more Canadians than Canada.)

    At any rate, that's when I heard all about James Cameron's new manga-derived massively budgeted 3-D feature ("Battle Angel", if memory serves), George Lucas' plans to 3-D invigoroate all six of his Star Wars picturers, and learned that Fox has been recording Superbowls and other big, big sporting events in 3-D for a couple of years now, in order to create a library of games for 3-D viewing.

    The company I consulted had even developed a high-definition 3-D Steadicam-like unit, and I got to see the test footage they'd shot at a recent football match. The cameraman could literally wander right into the field, with somebody tapping his shoulder whenever he needed to get out of the way of play.

    To repeat a 3-D cliche, IT WAS LIKE YOU WERE ACTUALLY THERE, ON THE FIELD.

    I have no interest in sports but it was obvious that someone who was into sports would definitely think it was the coolest thing they'd ever seen.

  • by ScrewTivo (458228) on Saturday March 25, 2006 @09:09AM (#14993316) Homepage
    well. With sports isn't that the idea? It is truly awesome, you see everybody reaching from their seats to grab items that appear right in front of their eyes, but when the motion gets to fast then it gets blurry. It happens even at their newest 3D movie Mickey's PhilharMagic. All the parks have a 3D movie and I enjoy seeing them over and over because the effects are so awesome and the air conditioning is great!

    I thought they needed special theaters to show these movies but the family just saw Chicken Little in 3D at a regular theater. It is impressive. The glasses are just polarized lenses at 90 degree offset.

    I don't know if this is the system they are talking about here, but Disney is typically on the cutting edge of this stuff and they have been doing 3D for years. Kodak sponsors the exhibits.
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Saturday March 25, 2006 @12:08PM (#14993696) Homepage
    Won't work. Geometric distortion is the fatal flaw in all screen-and-glasses systems. The geometry of the image only looks natural from a very small number of seats, and only if the camera is photographing with a "normal" focal-length lens. Under all other conditions, the 3D image has distorted geometry. Actually this is true even with flat images, but it is much more acceptable in those situations.

    3D movies work for "fantasy" movies, where Cabinet-of-Dr-Caligari-like distortions don't affect (or even enhance) the viewing experience. They work for short novelty films and roller-coaster-like "This-Is-Cinerama"-type spectacles. But when you want a sustained, realistic impression of physical presence, the distortions much more serious.

    Think of it this way. Can you enjoy sports in black-and-white? Yes. Can you enjoy sports in reasonably faithful color? Yes. Could you enjoy sports in psychedelic, distorted color? I doubt it, although such distortions might not matter in a comedy or a cartoon.

    Why is this distortion inevitable? It's because in a live theatre every single eyeball gets a different view of the stage, one for every eyeball in the audience. Someone sitting front left sees a stereo pair, someone sitting rear right sees a stereo pair, but they are different stereo pairs. In a 3D movie, everyone sees the same pair of images. Put a 3D camera in a live theatre, then screen the results: the only person with an undistorted view is the person sitting in the same seat the camera was in when it shot the scene.

    Another way to think of it. Suppose that in a 3D movie Ann Miller is twenty feet from the camera, and suppose she pitches a handkerchief directly toward the camera and it lands ten feet away. When the results are screened, whereever you are sitting you are going to see that handkerchief come straight toward you and land halfway between you and the screen. If you're sitting ten feet from the screen at the right, that handkerchief will come toward the right and land five feet away--and all the depth in the scene will be half as deep as it should be, and every cube in the scene will be a parallelopiped skrooged toward the right.

    If you're sitting forty feet from the screen at the left, that handkerchief will come toward the left and land twenty feet away. And all the depth in the scene will be exaggerated, twice as deep as it should be. And everything that's square will turn into a rhombus, skrooged toward the left.

    And it gets even worse if you add wide-angle and telephoto shots. Telephoto shots flatten depth; in a baseball game, the batter seems to be standing only ten feet from the pitcher. But it's not that obvious in a 2D image. In a 3D image, you will get the same effect and you won't be able to ignore it.

    Do you think this sort of thing is likely to affect your enjoyment of a sports event, which consists (in part) of appreciating the precise geometry of the playing field and the skill of the players in judging distances? I do.

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