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South Africa 2010 arrives in ESPN 3D
by Julian Quisquater, June 9th, 2010 12:51AM
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TAGS:  television, world cup


[TV WATCH] For the first time ever, World Cup matches will be available in 3D. This exciting new leap in sports programming will be available starting on June 11 on the brand new ESPN 3D channel.

What is 3DTV?
A 3DTV projects two separate but duplicate images simultaneously. Viewers use a pair of 3D glasses in order to perceive the two images as a single 3D image. The experience gives the viewer the illusion of depth, although the images are not truly 3-dimensional.

How can you get it?
ESPN 3D will be available to Comcast and DirecTV subscribers starting June 11.

How much does it cost?
3D televisions generally run $300-$500 more than their non-3D counterparts, depending on the size of the television. ESPN 3D cannot be viewed properly without a 3D television. ESPN 3D is available for free to all Comcast and Direct TV subscribers who currently have ESPN.

Which games will be featured in 3D?
Soccer fans will undoubtedly notice that ESPN 3D’s launch date happens to coincide with the World Cup kickoff match between South Africa and Mexico, which will be the first game available. The first scheduled ESPN 3D match involving the USA squad will be against Slovenia at 10 a.m. ET on June 18. Powerhouses Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, and Italy, among others, will also be featured during the preliminary rounds. ESPN 3D will air three quarterfinals, both semifinals, the third-place game, and final. See the full group play 3D match schedule below.

Is it worth the money?
While many of the World Cup group matches will be featured in ESPN 3D, the amount of non-soccer related 3D content currently available is slim. Also, since all viewers are required to wear a pair of 3D glasses, watching in large groups becomes somewhat problematic.

Considering the limited amount of sports coverage in support of this relatively new technology, coupled with its premium price, it appears unlikely that many soccer fans will be willing to fork over the dough required to watch the World Cup in 3D. However, 3D appears to be much more than a technological gimmick and presents some exciting possibilities down the road once it becomes more readily accessible.

Is 3DTV the future?
3DTV is only the beginning, and Japan has taken the 3D craze a step further into the realm of science fiction. As part of their proposal to host the 2022 World Cup, Japan has suggested the possibility of performing motion capture of live games so that 3D holograms of the actual players can be projected onto fields in stadiums worldwide. This technology may sound impossible, but given Japan’s track record in pioneering digital technology, it is unlikely that they would promise something they can’t deliver 12 years down the road. If the technology were developed, we could be looking at the first truly global World Cup in history.

ESPN 3D Group Play Schedule
(Includes 30-minute pregame show; all times ET)

Friday, June 11
South Africa vs. Mexico 9:30 a.m.

Saturday, June 12
Argentina vs. Nigeria 9:30 a.m.

Sunday, June 13  
Germany vs. Australia 2 p.m.

Monday, June 14
Netherlands vs. Denmark 7 a.m.

Tuesday, June 15
Brazil vs. North Korea, 2 p.m.

Wednesday, June 16   
Spain vs. Switzerland 9:30 a.m.     

Thursday, June 17     
Argentina vs. South Korea, 7 a.m.     

Friday, June 18     
Slovenia vs. United States, 9:30 a.m.     

Saturday, June 19
Netherlands vs. Japan, 7 a.m.     

Sunday, June 20
Brazil vs. Ivory Coast, 2 p.m.     

Monday, June 21
Spain vs. Honduras, 2 p.m.     

Tuesday, June 22
Nigeria vs. South Korea, 2 p.m.

Wednesday, June 23
Ghana vs. Germany, 2 p.m.

Thursday, June 24
Slovakia vs. Italy, 9:30 a.m.

Friday, June 25
Portugal vs. Brazil, 9:30 a.m.

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