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Friday Night Fights on ESPN 3D will be the first to simplify co-production for 2D

Ben Drawbaugh

ESPN 3D has had more live 3D sports broadcasts than we can think of but up until now ESPN has insisted that 3D events required a completely independent production process than that of 2D. This means that any event produced in 3D needs twice as many cameras, twice as much bandwidth to transmit it, twice as much everything. Well, it appears that this might not be the case for all sports because on February 18th ESPN will produce Friday Night Fights in 3D and just feed the HD fans a 2D version of the same feed. The results of this could have dramatic results on 3D broadcasts as we know it because the economical feasibility of 3D becomes much more realistic if a single production crew can feed both viewers; this might even mean cable providers can carry a single feed (like center cutting HD for SD but the 3D version). The other impact this might have on the market is it could influence the choice of a full HD 3D broadcast codec. You see while H.264 MVC used for 3D Blu-ray movies is backwards compatible with 2D, other broadcast methods like Sensio's and Dolby's are not. Oh, and one last thing, check out the gallery from ESPN Gameday Live that was at Sony's CES booth today.

Gallery: ESPN Gameday Live at Sony's CES booth | 37 Photos

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