Bayerischer Rundfunk Tests 3D Coverage of Ski Jumping
The march of 3DTV sports coverage continues, with the first live stereoscopic test broadcast of ski jumping. The second stage of the Four Hills tournament, held in the Bavarian resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, Dec. 31-Jan. 1, was covered by public broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR), working with Sony Professional and facilities company TopVision.
The 3D pictures were available only in the press centre and the VIP tent on-site, but the trial has convinced BR Director of Production and Technology Herbert Tillmann that the technology is suited to ski jumping. “When I saw the first 3D shots of the Olympic ski jump, I was absolutely amazed at the quality of the images,” he says. “Sony has worked with TopVision and done an outstanding job; the end result fulfilled our expectations exactly.”
TopVision has 3D experience from producing stereoscopic pictures for coverage of Bundesliga football. At Garmisch-Partenkirchen, an Element Technica Quasar side-by-side rig fitted with two Sony HDC-1500R HD cameras was placed on top of the tower used by the judges, near the main TV-coverage camera.
The images were processed through a new Sony HDFA-200 two-channel HD camera adapter, which combines 1.5-Gb signals from two cameras into a single stream. An MPE-200 box running application software for dealing with multiple HD video feeds was used to control the 3D rig like a single camera, simplifying the production process.
HD signals from 16 other cameras were converted to 3D, with another MPE-200 creating a complete video stream comprising full stereoscopic and upconverted 2D pictures.
Other equipment that had to stand up to the extreme cold of Bavaria was Sony’s recently introduced high-resolution 7.4-in. HDVF-EL75 OLED viewfinder and PVM-740 OLED monitor.
BR, Sony, and TopVision are all said to be satisfied with how the trial went.
Says Tillmann, “Even during the preparation phase, it was clear to us that 3D can only move forward if there is close collaboration between manufacturers and users.”