UK’s first 3D cup final broadcast

Interior of Telegenic T18UK: The first UK domestic cup final broadcast in 3D saw Birmingham City beat Arsenal 2-1 and win the Carling Cup after a disastrous defensive mix-up last weekend (February 27), writes Kevin Hilton. The game was shown live in both HD and 3D on Sky Sports, the host broadcaster for the event, with Arqiva providing HD OB facilities and Telegenic handling the stereoscopic transmission.

Terry James, director of operations at Telegenic, says the same level of coverage that features each week on Sky 3D’s Premier League broadcasts was used at Wembley Stadium for the Carling Cup Final. This included six 3ality stereoscopic rigs, with a handheld camera and a RF unit mounted on a Steadicam.

Feeds were produced in Telegenic’s first 3D OB truck to go on the road, T18, with audio mixed in 5.1 surround sound on the vehicle’s 48 fader Calrec Audio Apollo console.

James says some 2D feeds from Arqiva’s main host signal were used for the 3D coverage. These included Camera 3, the so-called personality shot for close-ups of players, and the goal cameras. The 2D material was converted in T18, which has both a SIP (stereo imaging processor) and a Sony unit available for the job.

The HD broadcast was covered using 29 cameras. The majority were Sony HDC-1500s, plus two super slo-motion units, an Arri Hi Motion camera hired in for the occasion, and two wireless cameras. One was handheld on the six-yard line, while the other was mounted on a Steadicam.

Match coverage was produced in Arqiva’s Unit 3, while presentation was controlled from Unit 2. The vehicles are identical, featuring MVS-8000A vision switchers and Calrec Alpha desks for 5.1 mixing.

Sky Sports has two more big cup finals coming up in 3D this year. The Heineken rugby union final takes place on May 21 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, while the Champions League football final is at Wembley on May 28.

Telegenic will be covering both. Terry James says coverage of the Champions League final will be a much bigger affair than the Carling Cup, using somewhere in the region of 12 3D rigs.

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