First live transatlantic high def 3D broadcast coming in September


On Sunday, September 14, 2008, more than 1000 delegates will witness a historic interview conducted in Los Angeles with DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. Elizabeth Daley, Dean of USC School of Cinematic Arts will interview him. Thanks to 3Ality Digital, the interview will be photographed on multi-camera Stereoscopic equipment and packaged for delivery by satellite service company Arqiva to Amsterdam, Holland.

3D movies have been taking the cinema world by storm and multiplying box office revenues in 3D equipped theatres but live transmissions have been more challenging. “Stereo 3D is still in it’s infancy in many ways,” says 3Ality’s CEO Steven Schklair, “We have been making impressive 3D movies but live transmissions bring their own unique challenges. Like every live show there’s less time to make corrections and no room for error. One of the big challenges has also been how to keep the parallel signals in perfect synchronisation. That’s a special challenge over satellite links where atmospheric conditions can be problematic. To do this, we have developed a solution where we multiplex the 3D signals into a single 2D signal for transmission. At the receiving end we then un-wrap the 2D signal back into a 3D picture. We have done this before but not over such a long link and Internationally. We have also developed the twin camera systems that will be capturing the images. In this case we will be using two camera rigs to show that 3D pictures can be cut and mixed live.”

Phil White, IBC’s Director of Technology, said, “This is a natural progression from last year’s Live HD interview with Robert Zemeckis. We are working with a group of technology partners who are at the cutting edge of 3D imaging and transmission.”

Communication specialists Arqiva were called on to carry the precious signals across the Atlantic. George Eyles, head of Digital Media Networks for Arqiva Satellite Media Solutions said, “Arqiva is delighted to have been asked to provide the communications technology and expertise behind this important and high-profile 3D event. Our interest and experience in the Digital Cinema market means we are very happy to use our global assets to showcase the exciting opportunities that new technology is bringing to live event organisers and exhibitors.”

Inside the Conference’s RAI Auditorium the 3Ality decoder will pass the left and right eye signals to two more key technology providers: projection company Christie and 3D presentation specialists RealD. Christie’s Dale Miller, Vice President of Europe, Middle East and Africa said, “As the manufacturer of the world’s most widely-used Digital Cinema projectors, the CP2000 series, Christie has always recognized the importance of the IBC D-Cinema program and supported the event and screenings each year. The D-Cinema sessions look to enliven debate amongst those shaping our industry and the first ever-live transatlantic broadcast in stereo 3D is sure to do just that. We’re delighted to be working with 3Ality Digital, Arqiva, Real D and the team at DreamWorks to help create another first for IBC.”

RealD is the world’s leading digital 3D experience provider and dedicated to delivering the highest standard in cinema and business environments. RealD currently has 1,500 3D systems installed worldwide, with another 4,000 committed in 27 countries.

Viewers will be asked to put on a pair of Real D’s specially polarised over-glasses to view the stereoscopic image. “We manage the separate images with a special adapter that fits on the projector which then transmits the left and right eye images through the glasses to the viewer, said Real D’s President Joshua Greer. “The vast majority of 3D equipped theatres around the world are using Real D because it’s not only simple to install but easy to operate with our very low cost glasses that users can keep. It avoids a lot of staff intensive handling and the picture quality is truly awesome.”

“This will be a challenging time for us,” says White, “but setting the pace is what we do each year at IBC. The technology we are using is exciting enough but to have Jeffrey Katzenberg addressing our delegates in conversation with our good friend Elizabeth Daley is a real treat and unique privilege. This really is the genesis of a new age in immersive cinema and broadcasting. It will be a very special night for everyone.”

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