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Broadcast Set Standard for Next Generation of Sports Viewing

Mon, 01/11/2010 - 4:39am
BURBANK, Calif., /PRNewswire/ -- A groundbreaking 3D broadcast by 3ality Digital LLC (www.3alitydigital.com) has been named one of the decade's best innovations by Sports Illustrated magazine.

The Dec. 4, 2008 live 3D broadcast of the National Football League's Oakland Raiders versus the San Diego Chargers marked the first time a league game had been carried live in digital 3D.

The landmark event carried on a proud tradition of sports broadcast innovation by the Modell family. For years, Art Modell shaped NFL broadcast policies as the owner of the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens. Modell's sons, David and John ? 3ality Digital's chairman and co-founder, respectively ? were instrumental in the landmark 3D broadcast.

"On behalf of everyone at 3ality Digital, we're thrilled and honored that Sports Illustrated chose our NFL broadcast project as one of the most notable innovations of the decade," said David Modell. "It was a pleasure to partner with the NFL to make this industry first a reality and lay the groundwork for the more comprehensive slate of live-action 3D programming now hitting the market."

"We started development of real-time 3D production systems over ten years ago," said Steve Schklair, CEO of 3ality Digital Systems, the technology arm of 3ality Digital.

"3D for cinema is easy compared to live broadcast, yet we always knew that the right set of technologies would make live broadcasting in stereo a reality. Our live 3D broadcast of the Raiders versus Chargers was a key milestone in 3D's migration from the cinema to the living room."

In describing the broadcast experience, Sports Illustrated wrote in part: "If a one-sided snoozer of a game can be that engaging, one can only imagine the excitement of a postseason game or Super Bowl in three dimensions." The magazine went on to say, "the brilliant final product is a testament to their (3D telecasts') inevitability."

"We approached the live 3D broadcast of Thursday Night Football as a proof of concept and came away extremely impressed with the results," said Howard Katz, the NFL's senior vice president of broadcasting and media operations.

"The NFL has a long tradition of using emerging technologies to enhance the consumer experience, and live-action digital 3D clearly has enormous potential in this regard."

The live 3D broadcast of the NFL Network's Thursday Night Football was shot and transmitted by 3ality Digital and shown to invited guests at theatres in Boston, Hollywood and New York City. The three-dimensional nature of the broadcast, which incorporated state-of-the-art technology built into 3ality Digital's camera platforms, was acclaimed for conveying the sense among viewers that they were actually on the field with the players.

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