RT Software has supplied a new graphics system to Sky Sports that went live for the kick-off of the Rugby Super League on 4 February in what was believed to be the UK's first ever HD live VR graphics transmission. Initial use of the system is to overlay team logos onto the pitch and also for the insertion of a virtual Jumbotron, writes Adrian Pennington.
The system is based around tOG-3D, RT Software's live to air graphics system, supplemented by a MoSys e-Omega camera head fitted with encoders, thus allowing camera movements while the graphics remained tied to the pitch. It all runs on an off the shelf IBM PC fitted with an nVidia 5500 gpu,along with Crystal Vision HD Chromakeyer and Delay.
"The significance of this order for RT Software cannot be overlooked. Not only was it our first order from Sky - by far the leading broadcaster in Europe with regards to HD - but we were selected against very established competitors," said Mike Fredriksen, sales and marketing director, RT Software. "In addition, the system will also be a test bed for tOG-Sports, our line tracking system based on Piero technology."
A significant factor in the choice of RT Software was the ability to deliver a complex solution, with graphics ready to go to air in less than two weeks. Neville Smith, Executive Producer Rugby League, picks up the story. "When we made the move to HD for the Rugby League I thought at best I'd be running the old SD system for graphics during the first part of the season. The RT guys came into the mix quite late but certainly delivered and I was delighted to have stunning HD virtual graphics for the first game of the season."