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They’re not standing around the watercooler, but Cheryl Sadler, Mark Meszoros, Mark Podolski and Nicole Franz are talking about what they’ve been watching, listening to and playing during their free time.

Friday, January 9, 2009

3-D Football: Once - and only once - in a lifetime event

Remember when your first friend to own a high-definition TV told you you haven't seen a football game until you've see it in HD?

Well, you haven't seen a football game until you've seen in 3D. Unlike HD, which is highly addictive when watching a sporting event, watching one in 3D is entertaining and definitely unique.

There is a catch: Once is enough.

Case in point Thursday night at the Great Lakes Mall Atlas Cinema in Mentor, which showed the telecast of the BCS title game between Florida and Oklahoma in 3D.

The wow factor was there early on when both teams ran onto the field. Gator players appeared to be running off the screen and into your lap. From that point on, a 3D Tim Tebow jumping, throwing and diving while leading the Gators to another BCS title was a sight to behold.

It was interesting, mostly because it wasn't the typical broadcast you're used to seeing every college football Saturday. The cameras were tight on the action and low to ground, as if you were sitting five rows up from the 50-yard line or standing on a ladder just behind the team's benches.

Fox's Kenny Albert and Tim Ryan announced the 3D broadcast and gushed about it almost to a fault, but they were entertaining nonetheless. The postgame confetti looked like it was ready to fall at your feet. The few 3D commercials during the broadcast were top-notch, at times much better than the game itself.

There were some big glitches, however. Bad camera angles made following the action difficult at times (especially early in the game), and the best 3D effects occurred more on the sidelines and in the crowd rather than on the field.

But none was more annoying than the 15 or so headache-causing instances when the screen went haywire, giving this viewer and others the feeling of our eyes crossing.

(Anyone got an aspirin?!?!)

For its first venture into 3D, it wasn't a touchdown, but it was a solid effort.

The novelty alone makes it worth viewing at least once.

Whether or not 3D viewing gets repeat business is another matter.

-- Mark Podolski


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