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3-D ‘Masters’


April 20, 2010 – 3D now seems to be a darling of everyone if what happened at the Masters Golf tournament is anything to go by. The event’s organisers collaborated with IBM to produce 3D video online broadcasts.

This was a first in the sports industry after production of the movie ‘Avatar’ that whetted people’s appetite for 3D contents. The events organisers said they want to be the first to bring this experience to consumers. Last week, Capital Lifestyle demonstrated how one can create a 3D home theatre.

ESPN produced 3D broadcasts of the event, which IBM incorporated in the www.masters.com website. The top quality 3D images available at a click, are a result of a complex behind-the-scene operation.

“The feed enters the IBM web bunker tucked behind the auditorium where the press works. There it hits three racks of IBM servers that crunch not only the 3-D feed, but also the other five channels of video that are offered on the Masters site,” CNN reports.

IBM sampled various technologies for 3D streaming on computers before settling on the active-shutter system sold by Nvidia. This ensured high quality image production.

To watch 3D images, you connect a PC or laptop that has NVIDIA GeForce graphic card to a 3D enabled projector or a 3D television set. 3D goggles are used to view the images. This is a very convenient set up as the pictures can be played as they are downloaded from the site.

According to CNN, a 3D video presents a natural feel of the course and players. “It captures the extreme changes of elevation at course, which never seem to come alive on normal broadcasts.”

People watched the Masters Tuesday on a Panasonic 3D HD TV in Washington, DC; courtesy of CNN.


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