If there's one lingering sensation after this year's CES, it's that already big and high-resolution TVs are trying very hard to get even more realistic and compelling to consumers. As proven by movies like "Avatar," 3D can be about more than things flying out of the screen at you like that old Joe Flaherty sketch from SCTV. 3D can be about immersion, and one of the true hoped-for killer apps in 3D TV is sports programming. I'll be the first to admit that I'd be excited about a 3D broadcast of a Jets game; in fact, 3D could help gain perspective on camera angles, and help with sports like baseball in helping keep track of field distances and fly balls. Plus, of course, it would look cool.
Would 3D or any other future form of TV ever replace the experience of being at the game itself, though?
I ask because I am a New York Jets season-ticket holder. My father, Michael Stein--otherwise known as "Jetmike"--has had season tickets for 44 years. He's been at Shea and Giants Stadium and even the Polo Grounds since the Jets were the Titans, and has only missed games to go to medical school in Italy (where, sadly, he missed the 1969 Jets Super Bowl). He also is a huge home theater buff; he owns a Pioneer Kuro TV and has 7.1 surround in his living room media center. I asked him whether there was anything that could lure him to give up being at the game and stay home instead.
He had no hesitation in his answer. "I go for the camaraderie," he said. "At the game, 80,000 people become one."
I can attest to that, as we both braved 19-degree weather for the final Jets game at Giants Stadium on January 3 for a remarkable night football experience. But our viewing angle, despite having good mezzanine seats, is far from ideal. A TV broadcast can zoom in and show slow-motion replays. Being at the game can show the whole field, but TV already has an advantage in quality.… Read more