EXCLUSIVE: 3Ality Technica rigs to support Olympics 3D

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Multiple rigs from 3Ality Technica will be used this summer to shoot over 200 hours of 3D coverage of the London Olympics writes Adrian Pennington from NAB in Las Vegas

NAB 3D Coverage brought to you in association with 3D specialists Presteigne Charter

While handheld coverage will be used to augment the 3D production of the Games, the bulk of the action will likely be shot on rigs using Grass Valley cameras, contrary to the marketing disseminated by Olympics sponsor Panasonic.

3Ality rigs form part of the 3D equipment set-up to be produced by Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) from three outside broadcast vehicles including one from UK firm Telegenic and another from Euromedia.

The rigs will be used to shoot the Opening and Closing Ceremonies among other events and at be stationed at key positions at various Olympic venues.

The Panasonic handheld 3D camcorders will come into their own at events where there is neither time or space to set up and locate an outside broadcast truck.

“We volunteered our expertise to OBS and said we will do whatever it takes to help you because this event has to be well done,” said Steve Schklair, CEO, 3Ality Technica. “It will hurt the 3D industry if it is not.

“The 3D Olympics needs to be more than technically perfect,” he added. “If the 3D feed of the Opening Ceremony, for example, is not more compelling than the 2D feed then people will switch back to the 2D. Our concern is about generating compelling content.”

OBS’ 3D production team will deploy up to three fully equipped OB vans and six separate ENG crews, made up of three crews each.

There will be a 3D operations centre in the IBC (International Broadcast Centre) to receive and distribute signals and to produce a dedicated 3D channel broadcasting 16 hours a day for the Games’ duration and a daily highlights programme as part of the 3D channel transmission. More than 230 hours of 3D will be produced in total.

The intention is that 75-80% of the coverage will come from native 3D cameras and 25-20% from 2D converted cameras.

Live coverage is currently planned for the opening and closing ceremonies, athletics, gymnastics and synchronised diving with possible additional live coverage from canoeing and aquatics (swimming, synchronised swimming, diving and water polo).

The ENG crews, armed with Panasonic AG-3DP1 twin-lens camcorder s, will provide feeds for the highlights package for sports including basketball, beach volleyball, boxing, equestrian, judo, cycling and wrestling.

The 3D feed will be offered by the BBC, CCTV (China), Sky Italia, Australia’s Channel Nine, France TV and NBC.

There are now just 100 days to go before the London Olympics games commence. It was also confirmed today that Virgin Media will be carrying Eurosport 3D  – a dedicated channel which will broadcast eight hours of live footage and four hours of highlights from the games, starting July 27tth.