The BBC is offering interactive coverage of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships for the first time via its new BBC Sport app for Connected TV sets, it will also be screening some of the matches in 3D again this year, writes David Fox. It will allow viewers to access additional information, alternative coverage (with up to six live match streams available) and highlights from the Championships, which started on Monday, including statistics and a choice of audio commentary. Viewers with smartphones and tablets will also be able to watch the action as it happens, as for the first time they will have access to live feeds from the courts, as well as highlights clips, features and interviews. The BBC Sport app was launched in April to integrate TV and online content on Connected TVs and other devices (such as the cable company Virgin Media’s TiVo service and games consoles, such as the Playstation 3), and has been used to offer expanded Formula One coverage, as well as for Euro 2012. It will also be used for the Olympic Games to give access to some 2,500 hours of content, with coverage of up to 24 simultaneous live events, in HD, so that viewers can see every Olympic sport, live from every venue. Viewers will be able to access the same content that will be streamed live on the BBC Sport website on their TVs, through the app, as well as on mobile, tablet or PC. 3D Service The BBC is continuing its two year trial experimenting with 3D production and broadcasting, by making full re-runs available of the Men’s Singles semi-finals in 3D (one on Sat 7 July and one on Sun 8 July), and offering some live coverage of the Ladies’ (Sat 7 July) and Men’s (Sun 8 July) Singles finals in 3D on the BBC HD Channel (although, as we have written previously, the live 3D coverage will be limited due to an overlap with the Formula 1 British Grand Prix). Sony is producing the 3D coverage, in association with the All England Lawn Tennis Club, and will deliver five days of 3D coverage, starting on Wednesday 4 July, to take in the men’s quarter-finals and the ladies and men’s semi-finals and finals matches. Besides the BBC, the 3D feed will be broadcast by Canal+ in Spain, ESPN, Nova in Greece and Sky Italia. The Men's Final will also be beamed to cinemas worldwide, through cinema distribution partner Supervision Media. This year, the production will involve using a mixture of 3D rigs and the TD300 single body 3D camera for studio and colour shots on the court, and will move to fully tapeless operation, based around Sony’s HDCAM SR Master technology. Within the OB unit all ISO camera recordings will be recorded straight to SR memory cards, while the PMW-TD300 camcorders will also be fitted with SR-R1 HDCAM SR recorders to record interviews and onsite content. The compact SR-R1 supports dual-stream recording for 3D use. “New technological advances have allowed us to produce Wimbledon on an even greater scale this year,” said David Bush, director of marketing for Sony Europe. “TV viewer and cinema audiences were amazed last year at what great 3D can bring to the tennis experience and we believe that with new and more camera positions, this year's 3D experience is going to bring viewers even closer to the sensation of being on centre court,” he added.
The BBC is offering interactive coverage of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships for the first time via its new BBC Sport app for Connected TV sets. It will also be screening some of the matches in 3D again this year, writes David Fox.