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New York—Dec 16, 2008
Sony Teams with Fox Sports to Simulcast Live 3D Coverage of Fedex BCS Championship Game at CES and Theaters
3ality Digital to Provide Digital Production, RealD to Co-Sponsor CES Presentation and Cinedigm to Deliver Satellite Distribution and Nationwide Network of Theaters
Sony Electronics is teaming with FOX Sports and an all-star roster of technology providers to deliver the first live 3D presentation of next month’s college football FedEx Bowl Championship Series (BCS) National Championship Game between the University of Florida and University of Oklahoma. The announcement was made here during the Sports Video Group annual League Technology Summit.
The Jan. 8 game will be shot using 3ality Digital’s image-capture technology and transmitted live via Cinedigm’s CineLive™ satellite distribution network from Dolphin Stadium in Miami to an event sponsored by Sony in the Paris Hotel and Casino’s RealD-equipped Theatre des Arts in Las Vegas, where more than 1,200 invited guests will view the game live in 3D during the annual Consumer Electronics Show.
Sony is providing its SXRD® 4K projection technology at the Paris Hotel and Casino for this special 3D presentation, which will be broadcast in conventional HD by FOX Sports. RealD is a co-sponsor of this theater presentation with Sony. RealD’s 3D system in the Theatre des Arts – including eyewear, screen and filtering technology -- was specifically built and customized for the SXRD 4K projection system.
“This event at the Paris Hotel is a perfect showcase for 4K technology,” said Alec Shapiro, senior vice president of Sony Electronics’ Broadcast and Production Systems. “4K technology was designed with enough flexibility to show superb-quality 2D or 3D content in the highest resolution available -- for motion picture releases, live events or other forms of alternative content, delivering benefits to everyone, from the movie-going consumer to theater owners.”
The Sony projectors’ 4K resolution is derived from a pixel matrix of more than 4,000 horizontal pixels, delivering more than four times the resolution of high-definition televisions used in home theater systems. The projectors have a strong track record of success in live 3D theater presentations, delivering similar simulcasts in 2007 for the NBA All-Star Game as well as an NBA regular season game.
“The live broadcast to the Paris Hotel and to movie theaters across the nation is the latest example of how we can deliver our programming to audiences in new and exciting ways,” said Jerry Steinberg, senior vice president of field operations and engineering for FOX Sports. “3D technology holds unlimited potential for the future of both sports broadcasting and live event production.”
For the broadcast, 3ality Digital will employ Sony HD cameras specially modified for stereoscopic production and transmission of the game. According to the company, the 3ality Digital technology allows a camera operator to shoot in a style similar to traditional 2D with pan-tilt-zoom control, and provides continuously self-correcting software to deliver high-quality stereoscopic imaging.
3ality Digital’s image capture systems integrate with existing broadcast equipment for pixel-perfect 3D imagery, and its image processing software enables accurate 3D image transmission through existing satellite systems, the company said. The feed is then transferred to the Cinedigm satellite network, which will broadcast the signal nationally to Cinedigm-enabled theaters. In the theater, RealD’s 3D stereoscopic Cinema System will enable the audience to view the game in 3D.
"Sports broadcasts are ideal for 3D presentation, especially in a theater, where fans can gather and participate in the atmosphere of the event with the feeling of truly being there,” said Sandy Climan, CEO of 3ality Digital. “This game may end up being a landmark in college sports history.”
According to Michael Lewis, chairman and CEO of RealD, “This event brings together all the necessary elements to create a truly immersive 3D broadcast. The success of recent box-office hits in 3D and the strong schedule of future releases highlight the fact that this is an experience that movie-goers crave. We look forward to continuing this evolution of the entertainment experience by delivering more live sports and other events to our theater partners.”
In addition to the theater at the Paris hotel, Cinedigm will broadcast the game to its network of 80 additional digitally enabled theaters across the United States.
Said Bud Mayo, chairman and CEO at Cinedigm, “Our 3D live distribution to theaters on Cinedigm’s nationwide network is now a reality that will greatly enhance the in-theater experience for consumers, while creating more opportunities for venue owners, broadcasters and the entire sports/entertainment industry.”
Gamecreek Video will provide its high-definition mobile video production unit for the game, working with the 3ality Digital camera rigs and image processing systems on-site in Miami.
About Sony Digital Cinema Solutions:
Sony Digital Cinema Solutions combines a full range of Sony technologies, training and service to provide a broad range of solutions for exhibitors. The world’s leading manufacturer of commercially available 4K resolution digital cinema projection systems, the group also offers Sony’s TMS (theater management system); digital signage hardware, software and content development; security systems and Network Operations Center (NOC) services for the exhibition community. Sony also offers flexible financing including a lease program and exhibitor-managed finance program leveraging Sony’s VPF administration, that can make converting to digital easier and more affordable than ever before.
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