The Masters, And Phil Mickelson's Mullet, In 3DTV: How Can It Fail?

As you may have heard, this weekend's Masters tournament was broadcast on 3D TV. And in addition to getting a look at Phil Mickelson in all his glory, it gave one writer a chance to experience 3D sports for the first time.

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Chris Littmann at Sporting News shares his thoughts and concerns:

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It definitely has its moments of "Wow, that's pretty cool."  ... My favorite shots of the day came on a green surrounded by water, and across that water there was a crowd. As players passed in the foreground, it was really like they were popping off the screen. The higher the angle, the less you noticed the 3D.

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But at the same time, it's not all perfect at this point. A simple raindrop can completely distort the viewer's perspective. And at some point, this could lead to some tough production choices for TV Networks:

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3D will eventually change the way producers run a broadcast. There are shots that would enhance the 3D experience that probably aren't ideal for non-3D viewers. Consider the most basic element like how you watch a tee shot in golf. Viewing from behind the golfer is kind of a standard now, but for a 3D experience, wouldn't you want that camera out in front to watch the ball coming at you?

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Now my thoughts: like Littmann, I'm worried that 3DTV will lead to camera angles that only make sense for 3D viewers, but that could be fixed if networks have separate 3D channels, like they do with HD. More than that, though, I'm just not sure if a 3D game experience would be that great. For something like Littmann did—watching the Masters on a Friday afternoon—sure, the novelty is great. But for a night of NBA games, or for watching eight hours of NFL on a Sunday, do we really want players jutting out of the TV every minute?

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More "real," but maybe it's less relaxing. There's no question that TV networks will eventually perfect a formula for 3D, but this may be a Uncanny Valley-type thing, where the technology gets so real, we hate it. Do you want Phil Mickelson's mullet in your living room?

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