As the pace of its development ramps up, 4KTV has received a further boost from Sony which is to launch what it calls the largest scale technical trial for live sports broadcasting in the new format.
In conjunction with FIFA, the world governing body for football, Sony will use the occasion of the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil in June to deliver what it calls “the ultimate immersive viewing experience” in Ultra HD.
Sony has been a long-term technology partner of FIFA and worked on the world’s first 3D World Cup broadcast in 2010. During the Confederations Cup tournament, Sony will be stationed at the Belo Horizonte football stadium to produce three matches utilising the world's first purpose-built 4KTV mobile production unit supplied by UK-based production company Telegenic.
Even though the content will not be screened to an external audience, the trial will test the process involved in capturing and delivering live 4K content, focusing on the technical and creative aspects of using 4K technology for live sports production and production workflow process. By testing the full workflow, Sony says it will have the opportunity to determine the precise skillsets, staffing and technical requirements to ensure the best possible experience for viewers. The footage produced will be used by Sony and FIFA to explore the possibilities of bringing 4K broadcasts to future sporting events.
“We’re tremendously excited about the FIFA Confederations Cup trials,” explained Mark Grinyer, head of business development - 3D, 4K & sports at Sony. “We’ve got a long history of working with FIFA to ensure fans get the very best experience when watching sport. Sony is proud to be a pioneer of 4K solutions, and we’re keen to see the benefits this exciting new technology can bring to the sports world. While various aspects of 4K broadcasting have been built and tried before, this trial will be a first in terms of the scope of production for live sports production. The FIFA Confederations Cup is going to be an important milestone for the future of 4K.”
Added Niclas Ericson, director of FIFA’s TV Division: “Building on a number of highly successful partnerships in the past, including the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, we are very excited to be working with Sony again to stretch the boundaries of live sports production. The FIFA Confederations Cup is a perfect opportunity to trial new technology and production approaches to 4K, and we look forward to seeing how this tournament will help to shape the future of sports broadcasting.”