NFL's 3D Premiere Maybe Takes Backseat to HD

December 16, 2009
TOM HUSSEY Photography, LLC

Depending on who ask, the Dallas Cowboys' introduction of 3D video on the world's biggest HD screen within the confines of its new stadium did manage to pull a lot of the fans together—but mainly to end the 3D promotion early and return to good old 2D HD.

The NFL franchise had distributed the mandatory (brightly star-spangled) cardboard glasses to tens of thousands of fans who had streamed into last Sunday's (Dec. 13) contest with San Diego. The game plan was to present at least some of the live action in 3D on the 60 yard-wide HD screen that hovers barely 90 feet over the center of the field.

At the start of the third quarter, as promised, the mammoth HD screen dropped its crowd-pleasing 2D HD video and began running "that weird, fuzzy 3D image that drives non-3D glasses viewers insane," according to reporter Nancy Gay of the Web site NFL FanHouse.

Reporter Gay said "almost immediately, I wanted a Dramamine. Watching the 3D video board was like riding the Zipper immediately after eating a funnel cake at the carnival in a Walmart parking lot."

Gay said her less-than-enthusiastic welcome to the 3D content in such a huge venue was also shared by a good chunk of the fans. "With 8 minutes, 10 seconds left in the quarter, the video board showing a single, enthusiastically cheering Cowboys cheerleader suddenly reverted back to 2D high-def. And the sellout crowd cheered wildly."

The 3D experience was part of a promotion carried out by HDlogix (which probably knows a lot about light sources since it's based in Edison, N.J.). HDlogix plans to demo its 3D wares at CES2010 in Las Vegas, Jan. 7-10 (HD Notebook, Dec. 9, 2009).

Alas, amid both the HD and the 3D, at the final gun the Cowboys got lassoed by the Chargers, 20-17.

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