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World Cup games to be captured in 3-D

Next June, the 2010 World Cup tournament in South Africa will be captured in stereoscopic 3-D for the first time, with up to up to 25 of the games to be shot with special 3-D rigs, according to FIFA, soccer's governing body.

Although there is currently no plans to broadcast the matches live in 3-D, FIFA said it was a possibility and would be decided in “the coming months.” Initially, it said, footage will also be transferred to film and shown at public events in seven cities around the world. There are also plans to capture some of the Winter Olympics in 3-D.

Sony HD cameras will be used to shoot the games, although Sony has not confirmed details of the specific technology to be used.

Most existing 3-D crews use two-camera rigs (also Sony HD cameras) to record images and specialized image processing software to convert the images and make them viewable for the left and right eye. Special polarized glasses are then required to view the image.

However, earlier this year, Sony unveiled a single-lens camera, which it said was especially suited for sporting events. The camera records a single image that is split by mirrors and recorded on two sensors.

Analysts predict that viewing the World Cup ion 3-D will stimulate interest throughout the world for 3-D content. Some estimate that more than 13.6 million 3-D TV sets will be sold in Europe by 2013.

In 2008, the BBC broadcast one of the world's first live sporting events in 3-D, beaming back an England vs. Scotland game from the Six Nations to a cinema in London. Similar sports “closed broadcasts” have been performed in the United States with the NFL and NBA.

Satellite broadcaster Sky said that it would launch the UK's first 3-D channel in 2010 for movies and has also hinted that it may launch a sports channel, which could include Premier League soccer in 3-D.