Manchester United v Chelsea: The 3D verdict

Welwyn Hatfield Times reporter Simon Wesson popped in to a Hatfield pub at the weekend to experience 3D football. Here is his verdict:

AS someone who goes to many, many football matches every year I take the saying “it’s like being there”, when you’re not, with a rather large pinch of salt.

So even though Sky 3D promises it is bringing the game to life, with its newest development, I went into watching my first ever 3D televised match with trepidation.

And after experiencing my first ‘3D’ game – Manchester United vs Chelsea, shown at the Mai Tai Bar, in the Town Inn, Hatfield, I can still say it’s nothing like being there.

But if you cannot get to the games it’s probably about as good as you are going to get – picture quality wise anyway; and the Mai Tai bar is the perfect location as all viewers can observe the 47inch screen with ease, as if you’re sitting at home.

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For me, Sky’s technology is still lacking though.

Especially when it comes to watching football (rather than other sports) and I think this is mainly due to the lack of cameras Sky appears to have.

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Much of the game, which finished in a 2-1 win for Chelsea helping them edge towards the Premier League title, was shown from the same angle, and while in normal televised games you get close down to the action, the 3D doesn’t seem to.

I hoped it would almost make you feel like you’re playing, seeing the likes of Ryan Giggs and Frank Lampard run inches past you; or when a shot is hit you would feel you would have to move out the way because the ball is about to hit you, but that is not the case.

I think this is an opportunity missed. When the 3D does kick in, which is mainly when they zoom into the crowd, the managers and occasionally when they get close to the ball, it is quite impressive, just not amazing.

I’ve heard that watching rugby in 3D far exceeds viewing football currently, as the picture comes right in front of you and when the ball is hurled out of the scrum it feels like it’s about to hit you in the face, which for me is what a 3D experience should all be about.

Once the technology improves and there are more cameras, I am sure in about a year or two, it will dominate pub and home screens across the country and it will probably be a must have.

At the moment, even though it’s still just about the best way to watch without being there - mainly for the picture quality, I wouldn’t rush out and buy glasses and TV.

If you do, don’t expect miracles!

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