NFL Follows NBA into HD 3D Realm

(Read more of HD Notebook)

The NFL this week said it will experiment with the same kind of HD 3D technology used with some NBA games in recent years with next Thursday night’s contest (Dec. 4) between the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders.

The game will air live at three movie theaters specially equipped with HD 3D projectors (albeit none of them in either team’s hometown): New York (DMA 1); Los Angeles (DMA 2); and Boston (DMA 7). Cooperating movie-house chains include Clearview Cinemas, Mann Theatres and National Amusements.

The NFL is the second pro sports league to get serious about 3D technology (special glasses required with this one) in HD, and offering their product at special venues such as cinemas. In the past two years, the NBA has used the same technology to air basketball games (including its 2007 all-star game) to Las Vegas hotel venues during trade shows, such as NAB, typically using satellite and fiber optics.

The NFL game on Dec. 4 will be handled by 3ality Digital—the Burbank, Calif., firm which has helped oversee similar feeds in the United States and Europe. Offering satellite transponder time and digital downlink services to each of the three cinema markets will be Technicolor Digital Cinema, with additional input from Beverly Hills, Calif.-based RealD.