Sony Professional is working closely with BSkyB on delivering live 3D coverage of the 2010 Ryder Cup over the weekend – the biggest live 3D production broadcast set-up to date – and surmounting some interesting challenges along the way.
Long-term Sony Professional partner, Telegenic, was selected by BSkyB to produce the event and it will see it use both of its 3D Outside Broadcast trucks to scale up the 3D operation. This is also the first time that both Telegenic 3D OB trucks will have been used together. The T18 truck will be used for production, camera engineering, sound and slow motion replays, while the T19 truck will focus on convergence and 3D engineering.
The production set-up itself will consist of Sony HDC-1500R cameras on twelve 3ality rigs and four Element Technica rigs, as well as four specially designed wireless 3D cameras from Presteigne Charter to capture all of the action. Additionally, Sony cameras are being used by European Tour Productions to film live coverage of The Ryder Cup seen throughout the world, and seen in the UK in both 2D and 3D on Sky Sports.
With the huge amount of equipment being used across a 32km course utilising both fixed and moving cameras, Sony Professional has had to develop additional technology to aid the 3D production set-up. Specifically for this event it has built HDFA-200 optical fibre transmission adapters. The fibre combiners, which enable a pair of 3D cameras to work down a single fibre, will significantly reduce the amount of fibre required for the 32km course, as well as speed up the rigging process; such that each camera set up needs only a single cable to deliver the 3D content.
Mark Grinyer, 3D Sports Solutions Business Head, Sony Professional explained: “The Ryder Cup production has created a whole set of new challenges for us, unlike football where the cameras are fixed, a lot more rigs are needed in order to cover vast amounts of ground. The HDFA-200 optical fibre adaptor has been revolutionary as it has enabled us to build a solution of this scale that otherwise would not have been possible.”
Darren Long, Director of Operations, Sky Sports, added: “All of what could be achieved in a 2D environment is now possible in 3D. Over the last year 3D technology has been put through its paces and evolved to now deliver an end to end extraordinary experience for viewers, whether at home or in a pub.”
The Ryder Cup production will feature 20 camera rigs acquiring the live 3D content from the course and, for the first time, Sony’s MPE-200 3D processor box supplementing some of the 2D studio feeds by converting into live 3D, helping Sky deliver over 10 hours of 3D Golf action per day.