Update: Inside look at how the NBA transmitted 3D HD signals for NBA Finals

By Ken
Kerschbaumer

Evertz timing and JPEG2000 transmission gear was used to help the Cleveland
Cavaliers and the NBA deliver a 3D HD experience from

San
Antonio to

Cleveland.
Deployed by Bexel, which once again came to the aid of both PACE 3D and the NBA,
the gear played a pivotal role in ensuring fans thousands of miles away had a
high-quality viewing experience.

The previous viewing of an NBA event in 3D HD in

Las Vegas
during the All-Star game in February was able to take advantage of an
uncompressed fiber circuit to transmit signals from the

Mack

Center to the

Mandalay

Bay
hotel. But this time the NBA needed to transmit from

San
Antonio to

Cleveland.

“We compressed the signal at 5-to-1 using the Evertz gear because you can’t get
a dark fiber run from

San Antonio to

Cleveland,” says Steve
Hellmuth, NBA senior vice president, operations and technology. “The quality
was excellent and Evertz has unique experience in this market.”

Hellmuth says eight 2K Barco rear projectors were used to display the 3D image
that was comprised of two 270 Mbps circuits. The circuits went live on Saturday
and were operational through Sunday, which was when 14,000 fans sat down for a
free viewing of the game in 3D HD.

“At 270 Mbps it exceeds the digital cinema standard as it’s really
contribution-level encoding,” adds Hellmuth.

NBA teams typically hold viewing parties when their team is on the road in the
NBA Finals but the decision by Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert to deliver
it in 3D HD was a costly extra gift for the fans.

Hellmuth says the goal is to make fans feel as if they’re in the arena and, on
that count, the screening was a massive success. At one point the announcers in
the arena calling the game on the 3D screen jokingly “asked” a fan on the
screen standing up in front of the low-slash camera to sit down. The crowd then
followed the announcer’s lead and started yelling at the fan to sit down. “They
really got into it,” says Hellmuth.

Evertz was selected by PACE to provide the sync generators, distribution
amplifiers and new JPEG-2000 compression equipment necessary for pixel perfect
timing used in 3D HD technology. Working in conjunction with Bexel Broadcast
Services, a broadcast rental company, Evertz equipment successfully managed two
streams of information and delivered a perfectly synced 3D viewing experience
to Cavaliers fans.

“We have relied on the depth of resources from Evertz to deliver working
solutions, often in a matter of days,” said Vince Pace, President and CEO of
PACE. “Our demands are unique to the industry and Evertz products have proven
to be a key component in the success of 3D HD.”

“Not only does Evertz provide the right products, they offer unmatched support
and service,” said Johnny Pastor, Technical Operations Manager for Bexel Broadcast
Services. “Evertz listens to their customers and their products and service
reflect that commitment.”

“We are proud to play a part in this revolutionary 3D HD broadcasting event
that is reinventing the way that people go to sporting events,” said Joe
Cirincione, Director, West Coast U.S. Sales and Service for Evertz. “Because of
our versatile and reliable solutions, Evertz high-definition video and audio
systems continue to be on the forefront of new and innovative broadcast
applications.”