Golf, Now With Three-Dimensional Azaleas

This year’s Masters tournament will be the first golf event to broadcast live in high-definition 3D. Few people have three-dimension televisions yet, so to some extent this year’s broadcasts will be like the proverbial tree falling in the forest that nobody hears. But reporters got a preview of the technology Wednesday afternoon during ESPN’s 3D broadcast of the par-three contest, and it was a thrill.

You have to wear special 3D glasses, of course, and the dedicated technophile might find minor issues to quibble about. Some of the graphics had odd shadows. Quick camera pans blurred fractionally. But it took me only about 30 seconds to begin coveting a 3D television for my home.

The images were razor sharp, thanks to the HD part of the equation, and the 3D effect was continual. In other words, it wasn’t just that the crowd in the foreground appeared to be on a different plane from the players on the tee, but that the woman at the ropes appeared to be in a different space than the man standing right behind her, and that golfer A seemed to be in a different dimension than golfer B.

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