Get ready for the five interlocking Olympic rings to jump out of the television and into your living room.
The London 2012 Olympic Games are going to be broadcast in 3D. NBC and Panasonic have partnered to provide extensive 3D coverage to all U.S. distributors that offer Olympic coverage via cable, satellite and telco.
Olympic Broadcasting Services will produce more than 200 hours of 3D coverage, which will be shown on next-day delay. The 3D focus will be on at least a dozen sports, including gymnastics, track-and-field, diving and swimming, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies.
“NBC has a history of utilizing technological innovations to distribute the Olympics in new ways for viewers,” said Gary Zenkel, President, NBC Olympics.
The OBS will provide about 10 hours of 3D footage a day, utilizing Panasonic cameras, recording machines and monitors. In addition to the United States, it will be shown in Great Britain, Korea, China, Australia, France, Hungary, Italy and New Zealand.
“Panasonic’s expertise in 3D technology coupled with NBC’s unrivaled leadership in coverage of the Olympic Games will deliver to home viewers an unprecedented 3D Olympic experience that will make them feel as though they are right there with the world’s finest athletes as they compete,” said Joseph M. Taylor, Chairman & CEO, Panasonic Corporation of North America.
“Full HD 3D is ideal for capturing the true spectacle of Olympic competition and the pageantry of Olympic ceremonies, and we are excited to be able to bring it to fans across the U.S.”
The 3D production will be filmed separately from the regular Olympic telecast, which is produced in high definition.
At the announcement in Berlin of the 3D Olympic plan, OBS chief executive Manolo Romero hailed the 3D Olympic plan as “the most significant step in broadcast technology.”
"Obviously we don't want to do tricks, we want to show sport as it is. But in 3D we can show what is possible. We want to get the viewer as close as possible to the action," Romero said.
The Wimbledon final has been broadcast in 3D by the BBC. Chinese television showed some of the 2010 Asian Games in 3D.
Photo: 3D television was a big attraction at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show this month in Las Vegas. (Steve Marcus/Reuters)