Digit checks out IPL 2010 semis in 3D. Worth the money?

Published Date
24 - Apr - 2010
| Last Updated
24 - Apr - 2010
 
Digit checks out IPL 2010 semis in 3D. Worth the money?

3D sports viewing finally made its grand entry in India with the live telecast of the IPL 3 semi-final match between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 21, 2010. With the insane viewership this 20-over format of the game has been garnering in the country, it seemed logical for a 3-dimensional live broadcast to kick off with the IPL. This 3D extravaganza was brought to the multiplex screens by Scrabble Entertainment along with UFO Moviez India Ltd. 


THE TECHNOLOGY

Scrabble Entertainment is the only 2K digital cinema compliant deployment agency in the country and are the only agency who get 3D telecast in theatres and multiplexes. We spoke to Ranjit Thakur, CEO of Scrabble Entertainment, which has the rights to showcase matches in 3D. Talking about the technology behind live 3D telecast Thakur said,"We use a 3D capture camera which has the right eye, left eye setup. Beside the camera there is a 3D processing rig which does all the post processing before the feed is transmitted to the satellite. Now the signals from the stadium are transmitted to an Asia satellite from where they make their way to the local hub satellite which is located in Hyderabad. This hub satellite then transmits the signal to all the local satellite which can send the signals across the country. These signals are then picked up by the Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) systems in the multiplexes." Thakur said that a 2K projection system was used in the multiplexes to project the match in 3D.


THE EXPERIENCE

Digit got a special invite to watch the screening at Inox, Mumbai. It looked surreal to see people in their favourite teams’ jerseys, some waving the Mumbai Indians flag. They waited patiently in line for their 3D glasses, before entering the auditorium, as though they were actually heading to the stadium.

The first visuals of the toss were breath taking. It was as if Ravi Shastri along with Tendulkar and Kumble had got out of the screen and could be reached out to. The depth of field one saw through those 3D glasses was mind blowing. But would this experience last for the whole match? It was only a matter of minutes before we got that answer.

For someone who has seen 3D movies, the experience is not completely novel. But this was a match being telecast live. Keeping that at the back of our mind, we felt that the experience was quite good. We would like to list a few pros and cons of the whole 3D experience.

What we liked:

1. Depth of Field : There is no doubt that the depth of field offered here can not be matched by the 2D medium. The score card just pops out of the screen and is so close you can punch it. When the bowler is coming back to his bowling position, it seems like he is going to bang into you any moment. And it wouldn’t be surprising if you ducked as soon as the ball was coming towards the camera.

2. Camera Angles : Some of the camera angles seen in a 3D view are very different from what you see on your TV. The low camera angles make one feel like he or she is viewing from the ground level. One can see the curvature of the ground and the pitch clearly. Also the zooming long shot really gives a stadium vision to the viewers, where the players appear in the exact same proportions to the ground. You actually feel a part of the dug-out, as the camera follows the player (who has been dismissed) to the dressing room from the side camera angle. Also the flags waving among the audiences appear realistic.

3. Enhanced Graphics : In-match analytical graphs like the Hawk Eye vision, Wagon Wheel, bowling stats etc appear more livelier thanks to the depth of field.



What we did not like:

1. Horizontal Panning : When the camera pans horizontally across the field, the smooth transition takes a hit and one can see a halting view.

2. Oversaturation of colours : Some advertising boards had colours that looked over saturated. One advertising board's blue background had a black noise around the logo which was very distracting, as it was present right behind the batsman and the wicket keeper.

3. The 3D glasses : If there is one thing that can make or break the 3D experience, then its the buggy oversized 3D glasses. It is very annoying to constantly keep adjusting them as they keep sliding down your nose every time you jump in excitement. And in a cricket match you are bound to do that quite often.


On the whole, the experience was quite good. With a little finesse 3D sports entertainment is bound to be the next big thing. With sports viewing in 3D, the feel of the stadium can be somewhat replicated in a theatre. Of course, nothing beats the experience of being in the stadium and watching the players in flesh and blood. But for those who prefer the chilled out atmosphere of an auditorium, nothing better than putting on those goggles and cheering for your home team.

So will we see other sports in 3D as well? What with the FIFA World Cup coming up in June? "We are in talks to broadcast other sports in 3D as well. As soon as something materialises, we will let you know," said Thakur. With an all India average occupancy of 35% which was higher than that for the 2D broadcast, Thakur was a happy man.

There are three more matches left in this years edition of IPL, so go ahead and enjoy the experience.


THE PRICE POINT

The total cost of a ticket is a hefty Rs. 1,000 plus a refundable deposit of Rs. 300 for the 3D glasses. But fret not, as you get unlimited beer and soft drinks on the ticket. At the same time the beer is not allowed inside the auditorium, a condition which did not go down well with many fans.



THE RATINGS 

3D Experience : 3.5/5
Sound System : 2/5
Value for Money : 3.5/5

Overall : 3.5/5
 

Nimish SawantNimish Sawant