Coverage of Wimbledon later this month will see an expanded range of matches aired in 3D, although not on the BBC, writes Adrian Pennington. Last year the BBC transmitted the men’s final live in 3D on BBC HD, but this year’s final on July 8 clashes with the British Grand Prix from Silverstone. While there remains a possibility that, should Andy Murray reach the final, the match will be aired in 3D, the greater public interest in live coverage of the Grand Prix on BBC HD would take precedent. That being the case, ESPN 3D has requested that Sony, which is host producing in partnership with the BBC on behalf of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, shoot up to 12 matches from the quarter finals onwards in 3D. However, this does not represent an increase in activity for the production teams involved. Last year Sony and its technical partner CAN Communicate, captured all the matches on Centre Court in 3D from the quarter finals onwards for archive and by way of training and editorial honing for the three matches that were broadcast in 3D. The 3D production itself broadly mirrors that established in 2011 with Centre Court ringed with six 3D camera positions. Five of those rigs will be 3Ality Technica Pulsars carrying Sony P1 cameras while a sixth position in the cramped commentary box area is likely to be a much smaller PMW-TD300 camcorder. An additional TD300 is likely to be used to capture colour shots and ad hoc interviews. NEP Visions is contracted once again to supply a pair of Gemini trucks, one for production housing a stereographer and six convergence operators, and another for technical ops. Feeds will be ingested into EVS servers (two camera pairs per machine) for live production. Recording will also be made to solid-state SR Master decks, replacing the SR tape machines of 2011 and effectively rendering the production tapeless as well as bringing substantial space saving in the truck. Last year a shortage of HDCAM SR tape due to the Japan tsunami, meant that Sony’s initial plans to cover the bulk of second week centre court matches in 3D for archive had to be curtailed. The SR Master will record 1080 50i dual streams compressed as SR Lite, which can achieve 220Mbps. The TD300 will be used docked to an SR Master R1 recorder in order to boost the rate of data throughput. The TD300 would normally record at 35Mbps to SxS cards. This method will also be tried during the Isle of Wight Festival 22-24 June, which is being broadcast in 3D by Sky. The BBC’s role in the 3D production for 2012 is primarily to provide shared camera feeds. These include a hi-speed camera for super-slow motion, which will be converted to 3D. Other broadcasters taking the host 3D feed include Japan’s WowWow, Sky Deutschland, Sky Italia and the Tennis Channel. TV coverage will likely feature a more obvious use of 3D, with the parallax pulled further into the living room for certain shots. That’s because most of the matches will be output to TV alone allowing the producers to deliver a greater 3D punch without being compromised by the need to tone that down for cinema. For the men’s final however, which is the sole match being transmitted live to cinemas and distributed by SuperVision Media, the 3D will be adjusted so that out of screen moments are reduced. www.cancommunicate.comwww.pro.sony.euwww.visions-ob.com
Coverage of Wimbledon later this month will see an expanded range of matches aired in 3D, although not on the BBC, writes Adrian Pennington. Last year the BBC transmitted the men’s final live in 3D on BBC HD, but this year’s final on July 8 clashes with the British Grand Prix from Silverstone.