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Archive for August, 2012

Days 12-14: Diving, Basketball, Team Synchronized Swimming, Track

As we got to the latter part of the Olympics, we got to see the US women’s 4×100 relay team of Tianna Madison, Carmelita Jeter, Bianca Knight, and Allyson Felix set a new world record.

world record 4x100

We also saw the start of team synchronized swimming, which I’m starting to get, sort of.

synchronized swimming 3d

Platform diving kicked off. Somehow looking at the 10m platform in 3D makes you realize how high 10 meters really is (it’s about the roof of a 3-story building).

10 meter platform

We also saw 3D basketball coverage kick off. As with the other sports, there were some fascinating 3D perspectives. Here’s what it’s like to be a basketball rim ready to take a free throw from Kobe.

kobe free throw 3d



Days 10 and 11 – Synchronized Swimming, the Fastest Man in the World, more Track and Field

On days 10 and 11 we were treated to Usain Bolt once again proving that he is the fastest person in the world.

usain bolt in 3d

We also got to see a brand new sport in 3D: Synchronized Swimming. Once again the combination of the 3D and the innovative camera placements and angles gave me a whole new appreciation of the sport–and of how freakishly long these ladies have to hold their breath and do everything upside-down.

syncrhonized swimming in 3d

Although I admit, I still don’t get it all the time, although now I can not get it in 3D.

synchronized swimming

We saw a number of new Track and Field events that had added a whole new perspective on familiar activities. Here’s what the pole vault looks like.

pole vault in 3d


Some more highlights of day 11…Epke Zonderland’s thrilling performance in the high bar.

epke zonderland


And Ally Raisman’s brilliant gold medal performance.

ally raisman 3d



Day 9 – Track and Field, Phelps last race, Trampoline

Days 9 and 10 of the Olympics 3D coverage saw the end of the swimming competition.

The last swimming competition of the day saw the 4×100 men’s swimming team for the USA win gold, which happened to be Michael Phelps’ 22nd and last Olympic medal. Here are the guys celebrating after their win.

phelps 22 medals

A ton of coverage was given to the trampoline competition, one that most people would normally skip but which I suspect was chosen for 3D coverage because of the heights the participants reach.

trampoline in 3d

One very, very cool thing was seeing the 3D view from the top, which is cool enough in 2D but even more interesting in 3D where the gymnast literally popped out at the screen toward you.

top view of trampoline

There were more track and field events that got the 3D treatment, including the long jump where one of the camera shots has the jumper running toward you and literally jumping out of your TV.

long jump in 3d

Hurdles were also pretty neat. Again, the cameras seemed strategically placed to give you a feeling of depth.

3d hurdles




Days 7 and 8: More Swimming, Kayaking, Gymnastics

I’m getting a kick out of Bob Costas’s introductions. Today he made a hurried introduction to the action, very quickly ratting through the day’s events and then getting a little obsessed with repeating the name “Aliya Mustafina”. I get the sense that the 3D intro is probably the last thing he does before he gets out for the night, so he gets a little punchy. I’m a big fan of his humor, so I definitely appreciate it.

One thing that NBC/Panasonic also did was add in what sounds like the BBC’s coverage of the action, which quite frankly I prefer to the American coverage at times. I get the sense that NBC’s announcers get paid by the word and get paid double for superlatives. The British announcers just seem a lot calmer and lets you draw your own excitement from the action itself.

I admit, there are still moments I see the 3D and gasp. I think so far in the first couple of days, the most spectacular shots have been of the gymnastics and the kayak/canoeing.

Here are some more 3D shots of the kayak.

kayak in 3d

And another 3D shots of gold medalist Gabby Douglas in her floor routine, popping right out of the screen at you. I have to say, I have a whole new appreciation of the sport, seeing the lengths, depths, and heights the gymnasts really have to go through that a 2D TV doesn’t quite give justice to.

gabby douglas in 3d

Swimming is coming to a close. here’s Missy Franklin in the Woman’s 200M backstroke shattering the world record.

missy franklin in 3d

And finally, with the start of the track and field events we get a few new scenes to admire. Here’s the stunning Olympic stadium by night.

olympic stadium in 3d

The track events also got underway. Again, 3D gave a really unique perspective on the events. Here’s a shot of runners lining up for one of the ladies’ races.

lining up for race

And Tomasz Majewski of Poland getting the first track and field medal with this shot put throw.

3d shotput

Overall, I’d say the 3D was effective in two ways. First, it really made you feel like you were there. Second, it really helped in understanding perspective that’s lost in 2D, such as the length of the track and the heights and distance of the shotput.

Days 5 and 6 of the Olympics in 3D: Gold Rush

3D coverage continued on the NBC 3D channel. Looks like NBC may be waking up to the fact that people are watching this channel–they actually have Bob Costas starting the coverage at 5 AM explaining the events of the day that’ll be featured, instead of just throwing viewers into random coverage. They’ve also been better about putting announcers on.

On days 5 and 6, coverage continued to focus on swimming, diving, gymnastics, and canoeing. I’ve been enjoying NBC’s live streaming coverage during the daytime, and have started to watch sports like archery, volleyball, water polo, fencing, and table tennis, but for the 3D coverage it’s clear that they’ve selected only the most popular sports and the ones that translate to 3D the best.

I’ve gotten into my routine of watching the same-day coverage on regular TV and then tuning in to my favorite moments in 3D the next day. What’s cool is that I’m getting over the “whoa this is cool” factor of the 3D and just enjoying the coverage for what it is. I would much rather them have edited the footage down to the top moments instead of showing unedited action (after a while the swimming heats all start to look the same).

But hey, no complaints. I got to relive great US moments like the US Women’s Gymnastics team taking the all-around gold.

3d womens awards ceremony

…and the US 4×200 team getting gold as well…

mens swimming gold medals

Days 3 and 4 of the Olympics in 3D – More Swimming, Women’s Gymnastics, Diving, Canoeing

By now I’ve gotten a bit used to the raw and unedited stream of 3D content from NBC. At first I tried to watch the 3D action instead of regular Olympics coverage, but I found myself constantly seeing spoilers on random Web sites and social networking sites. So, I figured I’d watch the coverage live during the day, watch some of NBC’s primetime coverage, and then for any “special” moments I’ll tape the 3D action and watch it the next day.

Days 3 and 4 of the Olympics brought us some new sports in 3D. The first was women’s gymnastics. Here’s Gabby Douglas in the preliminaries on Team USA’s way…spoiler alert…to the team all-around gold.

3d gymnastics balance beam

The 3D really helps you appreciate how very narrow that balance beam is.

They also aired some canoeing. I normally don’t watch this sport at all, but watching the water splashing out from the TV made it fascinating television.

olympic canoeing 3d

Finally, there was synchronized springboard diving. Again, fascinating to be able to watch the divers in sync in full 3D. You could see every twist and turn.

synchronized diving

Overall, not a bad selection of events to be shown in 3D. I’ll be DVRing the whole day tomorrow to watch…spoiler alert…the women’s gymnastics team and men’s relay swimming team take the gold 🙂