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World Cup games to be filmed in 3D

3 December 09 19:27 GMT

The 2010 World Cup in South Africa will be filmed in 3D for the first time, it has been announced.

Up to 25 of the games will be captured using 3D cameras, football's governing body Fifa said.

Although it has no definite plans to broadcast the matches live in 3D, Fifa said it was a possibility and would be decided in "the coming months".

Initially, it said, footage will also be shown at public events in seven cities around the world.

The footage will also be packaged into a film.

Sony technology will be used to film the games, although the firm has not confirmed details of the specific technology it will use.

Sporting firsts

The majority of existing 3D set-ups use two-camera systems to record images tailored specifically for the left and right eye of the viewer.

Special polarised glasses are then used to view the image.

However, earlier this year, the Japanese firm unveiled a single-lens camera, which it said was especially suited for sporting events.

The camera takes a single image that is split by mirrors and recorded on two sensors.

3D technology has been used to capture special events before, such as the Queen's Coronation.

However, regular and widespread use of the technology is still in its infancy.

Now, analysts believe the technology is on the cusp of becoming mainstream and believe the World Cup could play an important role in take-up of the technology.

"Global sporting events... are very important drivers of new technology, particularly in the TV market", said Tom Morrod, Senior Analyst at Screen Digest.

The firm predicts there may be 13.6m 3D TV sets installed in Europe by 2013.

In 2008, the BBC broadcast the world's first live sporting event in 3D, beaming back an England vs. Scotland game from the Six Nations to a cinema in London.

The corporation's director of London 2012, Roger Mosey, has said there are also plans to capture some of the Olympics in 3D.

In July this year, broadcaster Sky said that it would launch "the UK's first 3D channel" by 2010.

It has also hinted that it may launch a sports channel which could include Premier League Football in 3D.

The World Cup begins on the 11 June 2010.

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