Newsletter from 16/01/2011
One Year Online – The Live-Production.TV Internet Portal
January 2010: Sony and PGA TOUR Partnering to Bring Golf Entertainment to Consumers in 3D
Sony Corporation and the PGA TOUR on 18 January 2010 announced a partnership to explore new entertainment experiences for golf in 3D. Together, Sony and the PGA TOUR will work to develop a plan to make the 2011 Sony Open in Hawaii the first PGA TOUR event shot in 3D and available for distribution in 3D to select audiences, in addition to its regular 2D presentation. Development work begun at the 2010 Sony Open, at which Sony shoot portions of the event in 3D as a first step in the joint study, and continue through the 2010 PGA TOUR season. The organizations will also explore development of 3D golf for other potential applications. "From the lens to the living room, Sony is driving the transition to 3D," said Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman, CEO and President of Sony Corporation. "Just as video of sports and nature were key to the adoption of high definition television, we expect the same to be true for 3D. The sport of golf and the natural beauty of Hawaii are an ideal combination to showcase the distinct advantages of 3D and bring the full, 3D experience to life for consumers."
February 2010: The Broadcasting of the Vancouver Olympics
Every four years the world’s greatest athletes get together at the Winter Olympics to accomplish competitive first and break records and the games in Vancouver, Canada in February this year were not different. But the athletes weren’t the only ones doing things better and faster: OBS, the Olympic Broadcast Services, created by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in May 2001, also stepped to the technology podium with a winning effort that included a number of Olympic broadcasting firsts. It was the first time OBS was fully in charge of operations as there was no longer a host broadcaster from the host nation organizing committee and it was the first time the Winter Games were fully HD and in Surround Sound. OBS served as the backbone production unit for all Olympic events and ceremonies, and has delivered images to broadcast partners assuring that rights holders didn’t have to worry about covering the action but rather enhancing it with unilateral cameras that focused on their own favorite athletes and events.OBS had two primary “homes” during the Winter Games. The biggest was the international Broadcast Center (IBC) in downtown Vancouver.
March 2010: The Live Production of the Winter X Games® 2010
NewTek TriCaster™ TCXD300 portable live production systems and 3PLAY™ HD/SD slow motion replay systems provided live venue video and instant replay at the ESPN Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado. Two TriCaster/3PLAY live production teams replaced and expanded the capabilities that were previously provided by a TV truck at an unprecedented cost. NewTek HD portable live production system was then used in Tignes, France for the first edition of the Winter X-games in Europe, bringing the fans closer to the action. Launched in Rhode Island in 1995, the X Games brings together the best of alternative practices, such as skateboard, mountain bike or rollerblade in summer, and snowboard, slopestyle or snowmobile in winter, for top-level competitions. The Winter X Games is a competition compiled of the greatest winter action sport athletes from around the world. Each year, thousands of fans gather around the event spots and hundreds of thousands of viewers follow their favourite athletes live all over the world. This winter, and for the very first time, Winter X Games were organized outside the United State. The first edition of the Winter X Games Europe, held in Tignes, France, included eight different competitions, including Ski and Snowboard SuperPipe and Slopestyle as well as a Snowmobile demonstration.
April 2010: Arch wins Red Bull Air Race in Perth, Hall comes second
Hannes Arch of Austria won the Red Bull Air Race on Sunday with Matt Hall of Australia getting a career-best second place in front of an enormous crowd of 140,000 watching from the banks of the Swan River in Perth, Australia. Championship leader Paul Bonhomme of Great Britain took third place. Bonhomme retains the overall championship lead with 22 points after the first two races of the 2010 season. Nigel Lamb of Britain, who was fourth on Sunday, is in second place on 18 points. Arch jumps into third place overall with 14 points and Hall moves up to fourth, also on 14 points. It was a thrill-filled final under brilliant blue skies with Hall starting out the Final 4 by laying down a fabulous time of 1:26.51, his best of the week. It was all the more astonishing considering the huge expectations from the home crowd, the biggest at a sporting event in Australia this year. Lamb had been posting strong times all week but couldn't top Hall's time. Arch, starting third, moved into the lead with a time of 1:26.03. Bonhomme was flying well and poised to win the race but stumbled in the fourth and final sector to fall to third place with a time of 1:26.82.
May 2010: Historic Win for Germany in 3D
Welcome to the future. The future is now. Gelsenkirchen has put on a show for the ages: A world record 77,803 fans came to watch Germany take on the U.S. at the opening game of the 2010 IIHF World Championship in Gelsenkirchen. Plazamedia produced the game for Constantin Sport Medien with the 3D specialists from TopVision. LIGA total! exclusively delivered the game live via its 50MB ready internet platform to their subscribers on channel 319 on the T-Home Media Receivers. The IIHF opener follows the New York Rangers-New York Islanders game at Madison Square Garden in March as only the second hockey game ever to be broadcast to homes in 3D, but with one major difference: Plazamedia/TopVision was shooting in a soccer stadium. Veltins Arena, the home of Bundesliga football club Schalke 04 was converted into a hockey arena for the world record event. Plazemedia together with TopVision has experience in shooting 3D at football stadiums, having produced the UEFA Champions League match between Vfb Stuttgart and FC Barcelona on 23rd February (the first 3D sports production in Germany), but ice hockey is a very different animal.
June 2010: French Open got Sony 3D treatment
It is increasingly rare to find a major sports event which isn't covered at least in part by 3D stereoscopic cameras. The FIFA World Cup provided the largest global grandstand for the format but 3D recording and transmission also debuted in 2010 at cricket in India, ice hockey in New York and at the World Championships in Germany, the rugby Six Nations tournament in London & Paris and the State of Origin in Australia, Ryder Cup, Golf Masters and PGA Tour, while events like surfing, darts and boxing have all received 3D trials. After the UEFA Champions League final in Madrid, UEFA is mulling plans to transmit select matches of the Champions League in 3D while nearly all motorsports bodies have also conducted tests. Selected matches of the English Premier League and the French Ligue 1 are covered on Sky 3D UK respectively Orange since April, as well as NFL matches on ESPN 3D. And two of the German Football Cup matches were aired live within 24 hours on Sky 3D Germany in October. Among the high profile events to get the 3D treatment was the 2010 French Open Tennis Championship, 25th May - 8th June, which was the first multi-day sporting tournament held in Europe to be broadcast live in 3D.
July 2010: 3D Production: FIFA World Cup™ 2010
In December 2009, FIFA and Sony announced plans for 3D coverage of 25 FIFA World Cup matches. Integral in the selection and adoption of the technologies were Peter Angell, HBS director of production & programming, who served as FIFA special 3D project leader, and Duncan Humphreys, 3D consultant to HBS for the World Cup and partner in UK-based 3D production company Can Communicate. The aim was to deliver to TV-viewing soccer fans a new experience of their sports and to cheer even more about the World Cup. The tournament should help to kick off what TV makers, networks – and advertisers – hope to become a new dimension in home sports viewing and sports viewing in cinemas. Just as high-definition TV improved sports viewing by adding a sharper, wider field of vision, 3D adds depth to the field, increasing the illusion that you are watching the event in person but closer to the action. For the 3D production of the 2010 World Cup, Sony has developed a 3D platform that combines processor, switcher, lenses and camera rigs. The company’s system integration facility in Basingstoke was fitting a 3D layer onto the T16 HD truck from UK outside broadcast supplier Telegenic as well as onto the Car8 HD truck from the French production company AMP.
August 2010: Tour de France 2010
The 2010 Tour de France was the 97th edition of the Tour de France cycle race, one of cycling's Grand Tours. It started on 3 July with an 8.9 km prologue time trial in Rotterdam, the first start in the Netherlands since 1996. The race visited three countries: the Netherlands, Belgium and France, and finished on 25 July on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. The total length was 3,642 kilometres (2,263 mi) including 60.9 kilometres (37.8 mi) in time-trials. Following an opening prologue time trial, featured again after a two year absence, the first three stages passed through the Netherlands and Belgium on routes designed to replicate some features of the spring classic cycle races. This included seven cobblestone sectors totaling 13.2 kilometres (8.2 mi), the longest distance of cobblestones in the Tour since 1983, on stage 3. There were six mountain stages, three of them with mountaintop finishes, and two medium mountain stages. In the 100th anniversary year of their first inclusion on the Tour, the emphasis was on the Pyrenees, with two ascents of the Col du Tourmalet.
September 2010: Dorna Sports and the MotoGP
Since 1992, Dorna has been the exclusive holder of all commercial and TV rights for the FIM MotoGP World Championship. The company also participates in the management, marketing, and distribution of other motorsports properties, such as the Spanish Road Racing Championship (CEV). MotoGP (www.motogp.com) is the pinnacle of motorcycle racing and Dorna’s star product. It is the oldest motorsport world championship in the world, established more than 60 years ago, and the current premier class pits the best riders and manufacturers in the world against each other. Television viewers from more than 200 countries enjoy 18 Grand Prix events every year, with a total annual audience of more than 5.1 billion viewers. MotoGP is a fast-paced, thrilling sport, taking the world’s best professional motorcycle riders and machines and racing them on the toughest tracks around the world. It’s the responsibility of worldwide TV rights holder Dorna Sports to make sure that for each race, the fans at home and in the bars and pubs around the world are not disappointed. With a full-time staff of around 150, plus as many as 200 more production freelancers, Dorna relies exclusively on the Grass Valley™ K2 Dyno™ Replay System for the instant replays for each race.
October 2010: Live Broadcast of two German Cup Matches in 2D and 3D within 24 Hours
In the second round of the German Cup the defending champion Bayern Munich met SV Werder Bremen on 26. October (2:1) and a day later Eintracht Frankfurt played Hamburger SV (5:2). Both matches were broadcasted live in HD and 3D on Sky. In addition the Bayern Munich game was shown also on “Das Erste” in HD. The live coverage of both matches in 2D and 3D was carried out by TopVision on behalf of Sportcast, a 100% subsidiary of DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga GmbH and responsible for the frames of the German Cup matches. TopVision’s HD Ü4 and HD Ü5 with its associative tender trucks were on location at both stadiums and delivered both signals within 24 hours. Sky Germany has launched its 3D channel on 13. October at the “Medientage München” with the transmission of the concert of “Die Fantastischen Vier”, which was recorded live on 28. September 2010 in Halle. Another highlight was the coverage of the Ryder Cup in early October, but the touchstone so far was the live transmission of the two German Cup matches from two different locations. And with the start of the second half of the “Bundesliga” season on 15. January 2011 Sky will broadcast every Sunday a match live in 3D. Sky sees 3D as “Event TV” – an opportunity for people to share an incredible visual experience in their home.
November 2010: The 3D Live Test of Sportcast in Berlin
Sportcast is one of the largest producers of live sports in HD worldwide. And as a subsidiary of DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga GmbH, Sportcast is the host broadcaster of the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga in Germany. In addition, Sportcast produces all DFB cup matches and provides advice on productions in various media formats to further associations and leagues as a competent contact partner. After the two DFB cup matches on 26 and 27 October Sportcast produced another 3D Bundesliga match on 27 November in Berlin. With the start of the second half of the Bundesliga season 2010/11 Sky and Telekom will show one match per match day in 3D. In an interview with “Werben & Verkaufen” last week, DFL managing director Tom Bender stated: “We see the 3D production of the Bundesliga first as a test and try to cover the costs. To generate additional money with the match coverage in 3D the market has to grow. But even if the TV manufactures would only sell 3D devices from now on, it would take some time to become a viable business. Nevertheless for the product and the brand Bundesliga 3D plays an important role,” and he continued, “the quality of our product is not only decisive for the German market, but also abroad. We deliver technically the best quality currently available. This includes the production in HD and also selected matches in 3D.”
December 2010: Sportcast and SKY are Ready to Broadcast the German Bundesliga in 3D
With the start of the second round of the German Soccer League (DFL) on 14th January 2011 Sportcast will start its regular 3D productions of one match per matchday for SKY Germany. As a final test Sportcast produced the DFB Cup match FC Augsburg – Schalke 04 (0:1) on 21st December 2010 with the production company TopVision in 3D. The production at the Impuls Arena in Augsburg was carried out with eight camera pairs on 3D rigs from various manufacturers. Camera pairs #31 and #32 were Sony HDC-1500’s mounted on side-by-side rigs from Stereotec and positioned on a purpose built camera platform about 5 meters below the traditional HD camera platforms. All other 3D camera pairs were positioned at play ground level. Camera pair #33 consisted of two HDC-1500’s mounted on the Stereotec “Carbon” 3D live mirror rig while camera pair #34 saw two HDC-P1’s on a Steadicam with a P+S Freestyle mirror rig. Camera pair #35 saw a PMT SuperTechno crane with a Stereotec mirror rig and two HDC-1500’s mounted on a PMT MiniMote remote head. Camera pair #36 (again two HDC-1500’s) was composed of a swissRig with Chroma mirror. Finally the “behind the goal” pairs #37 and #38 were made up of HD 1100 mini cameras from LMP fixed on Stereotec’s “mini” side-by-side rigs. All the HDC-1500/P1 cameras were equipped with Canon zoom lenses.
January 2011: Ski Jumping in 3D: A Comprehensive Test of Bayerischer Rundfunk
For the first time in history of the Four Hills Tournament all four jumping events in Oberstdorf, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Innsbruck and Bischofshofen were produced by the host broadcasters ARD, ORF and ZDF in High Definition: Spectators could see the world’s best ski jumpers in unprecedented brilliance and resolution on the their TV screens at home. And during the New Year’s ski jumping event in Garmisch-Partenkirchen – the second stage of the Four Hills Tournament – another world’s first was happening: Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) carried out intensive tests together with Sony and the support of TopVision to find out how to cover ski jumping in 3D in the very best way. The 3D camera was positioned on top of the referee tower close to the main camera for the HD production. The 3D test installation consisted of two Sony HDC-1500 cameras with Canon lenses sitting on an Element Technica Quasar side-by-side rig which was mounted onto a Vinten tripod. The left and the right eye camera signals were fed into Sony’s fiber optic video transceiver HDFA-200 and send via one optical fiber cable over a distance of more than 400 meters to Sony’s MPE-200 production processor in the 3D control room. Via a router in the control room the 3D team could select one of 16 HD cameras and convert the 2D signal via a second MPE-200 box to 3D and mix it with the native 3D camera signal. The final 3D signal then was recorded onto a SRW-5800 HDCAM SR VTR and in parallel send to 3D displays in the VIP area and the press center.