After earthquake devastates Japan, NBA scrambles to keep finals in 3D

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You didn’t think we could tie the devastating earthquake and tsunami into the NBA, but you underestimate us.

First a little background: The NBA and many major sporting events for the past few years (even before 3D technology was really available for home use) were being filmed in 3D also. Things like the Olympics (some of Beijing was shot that way by NBC), the Super Bowl, NBA finals and so on. The reason is that if (when?) 3D home technology became commonplace they would have these sporting events in the archive and in 3D.

The NBA this season has already shown a Knicks/Heat game in 3D and was committed to 14 games through the playoffs and NBA finals.

So, the NBA has these grand plans for a 3D finals… and now we get to Japan, as explained by the Hollywood Reporter. Guess where the tape that all this 3D stuff is shot on is produced?

Following the suspension of operations at various Sony manufacturing plants — as well as other manufacturers’ plants — in Japan that were damaged by the earthquake and tsunami, the broadcasting, production and postproduction industries are facing an impending tape shortage and scrambling to secure what inventory remains.

The NBA, for example, was looking to secure enough tape to get through the NBA Finals in June and its planned 3D broadcasts.

“It was like a bank run,” said one postproduction insider of the industrywide scramble.

Not sure it impacts your day-to-day life, but thought you all might find this interesting.

Also, if you can, try to give a little something (through NBA Cares if you wish) to help the people of the region devastated by that quake and tsunami. That’s not about basketball, that’s about being human and helping others.

See Heat vs. Knicks in 3D (without going to the game)


Thumbnail image for Lebron_Wade_Bosh2.jpgA year ago I was at a fundraiser event where Panasonic was a major sponsor, and as part of the event they set up a special tent to show off what 3D television really meant.

As part of the demonstration, they showed a couple minutes of a Beijing Olympics soccer game shot in 3D (NBC shot a lot of the games in 3D to have it in archive for the day 3D becomes the norm) and let me say….

Damn. Just wow.

Not so much with the standard above-the-action at midfield shots that track the play, but when they cut to ground level and you watched guys racing down the wing or a corner kick, it was breathtaking.

Now, 3D is coming to the NBA.

ESPN announced that the Dec. 17 game when the Knicks visit the Heat will be shown in 3D, as will 14 other NBA following that (including three Western Conference Finals games).

At this point, there probably will be more people in the buildings seeing the game in 3D than there will be at home. The technology has not penetrated far into the market yet.

But the day is coming. And it will be a leap forward for sports coverage in the same way high definition has been. This is just a first little breaker, but the waves of 3D are coming, crashing into your living room soon.

Plus, we can now all watch JAWS 3D at home, just as the artists who created that masterpiece envisioned.