HD gets into the scrum for Six Nations Rugby Championship
By Kevin Hilton
SVG European correspondent
The RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) Six Nations rugby union
championship got underway last weekend, with England, France, Ireland,
Italy, Scotland and Wales pitted against each other. This year marks a
first for the Northern Hemisphere’s premier rugby tournament as the
home matches of England, Scotland and Wales will be broadcast live in
high definition (HD).
BBC Outside Broadcasts is providing host broadcast facilities at all
matches except for France’s home games played at the Stade de France.
Facilities for these are being supplied by FT2, with additional cameras
and presentation equipment from BBC OBs. The BBC is broadcasting live
coverage of the Six Nations on its HD test channel, in addition to
BBC1, BBC2 and interactive services.
BBC OBs currently has three HD units in its fleet and so is bringing
in additional trucks where necessary. These include Arena Television’s
HD7, which is being used for match coverage at Twickenham for England’s
home games. BBC OB’s Unit 10 will provide on-site presentation
Up to 23 HD cameras are being used on the matches, with BBC OBs
favouring Sony. Match coverage also includes three HD digital radio
cameras, two SteadiCams for touchline shots and a Jimmy Jib. ARRI’s 300
frames per second HiMotion camera is used for such close up, detailed
shots as players’ muscles contracting.
Rugby TV coverage has seen the use of specialist camera in recent
years, notably the Post Cam. This was developed by the special cameras
department of BBC OBs and BBC Sport Innovation to give a 360-degree
view of the action from its position on the post above the safety
padding. Also being used this year is ACS’ Rail Cam, a HD camera that
runs on tracks along the touchline, halfway down the left side of the
pitch. This is used particularly for close up shots of tackles.
The Six Nations runs units 17th March.