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Zinemath: Depth sensing cameras for broadcast

Broadcast graphics lag behind the quality of today’s commercial and cinematic visual effects by a decade. The new technologies of UHD, 4K or even higher resolution screens and large sensor cameras are a challenging environment for the graphic contents too.

Creative people, broadcasters and producers will demand more and more attractive visual elements.

We see the need for new solutions in the realtime television technologies, to fulfill the expectations of 4K handling capabilities. The visual expectation of the younger generation and all the other viewers are driven by the rapidly evolving smartphone, tablet, cinematic VFX and video gaming standards.

We see the evolution of Augmented Reality (AR) solutions as one of the key direction of development in the upcoming years. AR and Virtual Reality systems are limited in many ways: they require a lot of investment, a sophisticated application process and dependent on their tracking environments can be used in studio environments only.

They do not support any on-site practical location based shooting. As things stand, AR will not be applicable to TV formats such as news, documentary or entertainment. To surmount these technical obstacles we will need more than a series of new graphics tools a new camera and object tracking realtime depth sensor system shall be available.

Depth sensors may give us the access to new dimensions and offer affordable and more effective methods. Imagine a real breakthrough: it will be more cost effective, so it will be accessible to a much wider circle of broadcasters and productions, while being compatible with the new, higher resolution standards. Creativity may flourish.

It may allow informative and spectacular presentations as well as a set of graphics applications that flat diagrams and explanatory illustrations come to life and the border between the real and generated content may be blurred.

Depth sensing cameras may well support everyday news and sports broadcasting as a result of their additional dimensions and the simplicity of their use since they do not require a studio environment or any complex calibration. I do not need to mention the complex possibilities in the entertainment programmes of utilising such a system.