BBC viewers taken for ride via VenueVu

In recent years the use of tools like Google Maps have allowed broadcasters to virtually “fly” viewers into and out of venues. But the BBC Research and Development department and virtual graphics provider Crystal CG have taken fly bys to the next level at Wimbledon courtesy of VenueVu.

Alan Wright, SIS Live, engineering manager, says the new system allows for the BBC to deliver a virtual reality fly between one live picture and another.

“We can cut from our wide angle of Centre Court to the Venue Vu feed which has the wide angle of Centre Court superimposed within a virtual graphic representation of the Centre Court stadium,” he explains. “[The virtual camera shot] can then can fly out of Centre Court and fly into a wide-angle live camera shot on another court.”

Dr. Bruce Weir, BBC R&D Engineer, research and development, was on site operating the system within SIS Live OB unit 12 that was handling Centre Court action.

The system has the potential to add a new level of virtual graphics coverage to events that occur over acres or miles of distance, says Dr. Weir. For example, during a golf broadcast the system could be used to virtually fly viewers from one live camera shot to another, giving them a greater sense of the layout of the course. And with the London 2012 Olympics a little more than a year away it could also play a key role in bringing viewers from one venue to the next.

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