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The NBA in 3-D

Feb 17, 2010, 12:03 PM EDT

It’s the chance to feel like Dwyane Wade is crashing right into your home.

A lot of companies are betting, er, investing a lot of money in 3-D technology for the home, expecting it to be the new HD. With that, production companies are already filming shows and movies in the new format. When it will be broadcast remains to be seen, but pretty soon you’ll be able to see Jack Bauer torture people like it was in your own living room.

Sports is supposed to be one of the big markets, and at the NBA’s annual technology summit on All-Star Weekend they were showing off the technology, and Brett Pollakoff from Fanhouse was checking it out.

The NBA has been recording events like the All-Star game and the Finals in 3-D since 2007, but until now, has only been able to showcase them in a movie theater setting. As with most new technologies, the obstacles to getting them to market are based in price, as well as the ability to get televisions capable of handling the broadcasts to market. Additionally, the glasses required to view the 3-D programming are expensive — currently estimated to cost around $100 per pair to produce.

But none of this has stopped ESPN, the unquestioned leader in the broadcasting of sports programming, from moving forward into the land of 3-D. With 85 events scheduled for 2011, they’re taking the following approach: just provide the content, and the business model will follow.

I had the chance to sample the technology (via Panasonic) last year, seeing footage from the Beijing Olympics. It’s impressive. Ground-level shots of a soccer match had the players racing toward you in real time, stopping and trying o make a cut and play. It made the sport come alive.

But it’s going to be a while, but the NBA in 3-D is coming to your home sooner rather than later. And if you thought Baron Davis’ beard was freaky in 2-D…..

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