Day-Long SVG Summit Delves Into 3D Technologies

More than 200 broadcast professionals convened at the CBS Studio Center in New York City on Thursday for SVG’s first-annual 3D Sports Transmission and Production Summit. Leading experts discussed cutting-edge 3D technologies and gave attendees an inside look at some of the 3D productions completed this year, as well as those on the event horizon.

Intelsat served as the event’s title sponsor, with Aspera, Bexel, Chyron, Evertz, Harris, Grass Valley, JVC, Level 3, Linear Acoustic, Panasonic, Quantel, Ross Video, Sony, Telecast, and Vizrt co-sponsoring the event.

“Holding our 3D Summit at the historic CBS Studios was a treat and the opportunity to not only discuss 3D developments but also demonstrate them made this one of our most vibrant events to date,” says SVG Editorial Director Ken Kerschbaumer. “Our sponsors stepped up with informative presentations, while sports network executives came through with new insights into what lies ahead for consumers. The next few months promise to be the most exciting ever for the industry as 3D sports becomes a reality.”

The day began with an in-depth look at two of the most groundbreaking 3D sports productions of 2010: MSG Network and 3ality Digital’s 3D delivery of a NHL game in March and CBS Sports’ 3D production of the 2010 NCAA Final Four in April. Executives from MSG Network, CBS Sports, and 3ality discussed their experiences on these shows and shared lessons learned in the early days of 3D sports production.

In an insightful afternoon presentation, Buzz Hays, SVP of the Sony 3D Technology Center, illuminated the key terms and techniques in the art and science of 3D.

The afternoon was filled with talk of the future, as ESPN, DirecTV, and Comcast each laid out their 3D plans for 2010 and beyond. ESPN 3D will launch with the 2010 FIFA World Cup in June, and DirecTV will roll out a trio of 3D channels this summer. Both DirecTV and Comcast, which delivered the Masters golf tournament to homes in 3D in April, will carry ESPN’s new 3D channel.

Attendees were also introduced to the latest breakthroughs in 3D acquisition, production, graphics, postproduction, encoding, and backhaul from industry-leading manufacturers and providers. In addition, a series of 3D exhibits and demonstrations by several event sponsors offered insight into the nuances of 3D sports production and transmission.

“The sports industry’s leadership in driving consumer acceptance of this new entertainment medium was demonstrated first by our speakers,” says SVG Executive Director Marty Porter. “More than 20 industry professionals took the stage to share candidly with their colleagues their experiences, successes, and challenges when it comes to 3D sports production. The industry’s leadership in this new dimension was also demonstrated by the 200-plus attendees who remained riveted to their seats all day long and by the typically collegial attitude of the SVG membership and sponsors who recognize that 3D TV production may be easy but that good 3D TV production is very hard to achieve.”

Be sure to check out next week’s Sports Video Insider newsletters for full coverage from the event.