Opinion Brief

Wimbledon in 3D: Will audiences watch tennis in theaters?

Sony plans to beam the prestigious tournament's finals to cinemas equipped for high-definition 3D — whether or not anyone shows up

The finals of this summer's Wimbledon tennis championship will be filmed in high-definition 3D and screened live, as the matches unfold, in 3D-equipped cinemas around the world. The streaming video, produced by Sony and the All England Lawn Tennis Club, will also be available for 3D TV broadcasts. Will Wimbledon really be better in 3D — and will fans shell out for tickets at the cineplex?

This experiment is doomed: What an "absurd" idea, says Lindsay Mannering at The Stir. The technology just "isn't that great" yet. "Tennis is a super fast sport with jarring angles and lightning speed movements." The matches will "look like a green and purple mess with streaky shots and blurred forehands." "Wimbledon in 3D will be a Grand Slam fail"

3D tennis sounds awesome: The big screen will add "to the feeling of 'event TV,'" says Geoff Slaughter at 3D TV Watcher. And what a great way to show off what "3D can offer to live sport." With the technology making it seem like the court is right there in the cinema, fans will experience the Wimbledon atmosphere like never before."Wimbledon finals will be 3D"

The multiplex is the wrong place for tennis: This technology is great when it is "fully utilized to its best capability," says Raymond Wong at DVICE, as it has been in thrilling movies, such as Avatar. But who wants to "pony up the extra dough for those cheap 3D glasses" and sit in a dark room watching people whack a ball back and forth? And will we be treated to 3D commercials during intermissions and breaks? "If so, no thanks.""Here's why broadcasting the Wimbledon finals in 3D is going to fail"

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