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Wimbledon 2012 3D technology: Behind the scenes

Chris Martin | July 10, 2012
Wimbledon 2012 has come to an end with Andy Murray losing to Roger Federer in the final.

Wimbledon 2012 has come to an end with Andy Murray losing to Roger Federer in the final. We were at the tennis championship with Sony taking a look behind the scenes at how it's filmed and broadcast in 3D.

This year's tournament saw five days' worth of coverage recorded in 3D by Sony including the men's quarter-finals and the women's and men's semi-finals and finals matches. Broadcasters including BBC and ESPN showed live 3D coverage and a total of 14 broadcasters were offered the 3D feed globally to be watched on 3D TVs like the Sony KDL-46HX853.

David Bush, director of marketing for Sony Europe said: "We're excited to be working again with the AELTC and raising the 3D experience even higher. New technological advances have allowed us to produce Wimbledon on an even greater scale this year."

See also: Group test: What's the best TV?

Among these advancements is the use of SR-R1 HDCAM SR recorder cameras as well as PMW-TD300 camcorders. Sony said: "The SR-R1 is a compact memory drive unit, which supports dual-stream recording and is ideal for high quality 3D stereoscopic image capture."

Sony uses a total of six 3D cameras, one of which is mounted on the score board, on centre court to record the matches. There's also an additional camera on the roof for interviewing and panning around the grounds. See also: Digital Home Advisor.

The standard non-3D cameras get priority for position but the 3D cameras use some unorthodox and interesting angles of the play. The BBC also allows Sony to take its 2D feed from six cameras and convert it to 3D for additional shots.

For the first time Sony has recorded the footage onto SR memory cards instead of tape. We were told the cameras record at 220Mbps per eye and a total of around 30TB of data is captured over the tournament.

The 40 strong 3D crew work mostly from outside broadcast trucks parked just outside the Wimbledon ground. We were lucky enough to take a look inside and see what goes on.

Not only does the 3D get recorded by cameras inside the ground, a team of stereographers who adjust the 3D image for the viewer. Before the match begins the cameras are calibrated to show the 3D as best as possible.

 

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