Is Football Any Good In 3D?

Sky are showing Arsenal v Man Utd on Skysports 1, but also in 3D at a few venues throughout the UK. So is it any good?

Here are some thoughts from Twitter users… taken from the live Twitter stream…

Wow this Sky Sports 3D is serious everyone ducked as the balls kicked

(TonyDortie), who posted this image of the Sky special 3D glasses…

Tony also said,

Sky sports 3D works better on close up shots, long range looks nothing special.

Martin Stansford, who works for Sky, said,

Enjoying the 3d footy want more shots from ground level. Behind the goal replay amazing…..


I’m watching Arsenal v Man U in glorious live 3D – a world first.


Football in 3D is even better than watching Jeremy Kyle on acid. Fact.

Pic by francosays


So early first impressions: adds a lot of depth and does bring the action to life. Interestingly the effect is not that dramatic.


Im sitting here watching the footie With my 3d specs on that I got. @ the cinema & It dont löök any different to me.


I am. At the Old Arcade. Its great. Its subtle but works. Some shots are fantastic.

tomdunmorestuff consulting editor at Stuff,

Wow, quite a game. The closeups definitely work in 3D but the long shots look flat to me.

Pic by tomdunmorestuff


3D football update- really great game, 3d only great in patches

T3 again,

Suitably brilliant first goal by Nani, followed by great first time strike by Rooney. behind the goal shots defo look best.

mchax (,

Sky 3D in a pub: subtle. close-ups look great. Graphics are impressive. Glasses are a bit of a barrier. Stand close for the best effect

Blog post by Nigel Kendall at the Times

Sky craftily uses graphics to tweak the images into 3D life, with its 3D logo contstantly coming at you out of the screen.

The demo was done using passive 3D technology with polarising lenses rather than the more expensive active glasses favoured by the likes of Panasonic. Sky’s 3D programming will support both active and passive systems.

First impressions are that the active system, which uses lenses that open and close in sync with the signal at speeds invisible to the human eye, provides a smoother feeling overall than the one on display today.

As a spectacle wearer, my eyes itch when I first put the passive glasses on, though the feeling subsides after 5 minutes or so. The 3D glasses themselves are less of a barrier than I’d feared. Since everyone was wearing them, no one felt stupid, and there wasn’t even any pointing and laughing.

Coverage of the match itself I will leave to our impeccable sports department, but I will say this.

What’s noticeable about the coverage is how much lower to the pitch the camera needs to be to produce the full HD effect.

When we swoop away for the traditional top down view, you’d hardly know you were watching in 3D.

Standout moments come with the likes of corners and goalkicks. Here, with the ball static and the player approaching the camera, it’s hard not to ooh in admiration at the feeling of presence, being there that the lower camera angle produces.

In the 13th minute, when Andrei Arshavin shaved the post with a shot, it looked to be coming right at you on the instant reply. I suspect that Sky’s directors will have to work hard to switch cameras to try and make those moments happen live as much as they can.

On balance, though, this experiment was a success. Though nothing can ever replicate the feeling of being in a stadium, this – with the lights off and a huge TV screen – comes close.

Oh, and the added dimension does not make Wayne Rooney any prettier, beautiful though his goal may have been.

imac99 pic from Manchester, probably the best of the nine pubs to be in, seeing as Man Utd are 2-0 up at half time!

t3 again,

T3 now in stands. close ups in 3d strong but main action is reallly low key. like they turned the 3d down.

(with the option of going to the live game, I think I’d give the 3D TV a miss too!)

3-0 to United. Apparently “3-0 in 3-D” is the new favourite chant in the 3D-enabled pubs.


Sky will make 3D work- but they need more pitch-side cameras to do it. Next season you’ll get a manager’s-eye view of the game


Just watched #sky sports 3D in Manchester. Amazing. Future stuff. Looked really good. All TV should be 3D

Arsenal pull one back. 1-3

Game ends. 3-1 to United, but what about the 3D? The overall impression seems to be that the 3D effect is more impressive with close-up camera shots from set pieces, but the longer-shots of the action lose the 3D edge. Of course, Sky will tweak the shot selection as much as possible in future to maximise the benefit for the 3D broadcast. Overall, an encouraging debut for the world’s first broadcast of live action sport to a public audience!

About Guy Wilson

Guy Wilson started writing for the 3DTVReviewer blog in early 2010. Guy is passionate about all forms of 3D tech and can be contacted at
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