Latest innovations from Sony provide broadcasters with enhanced tools to create outstanding 3D images.
Reinforcing its commitment to 3D production, Sony unveiled today a number of new additions and enhancements to its flexible, end-to-end 3D live production solution. At this year’s IBC show, Sony Professional is showcasing different 3D workflow setups to demonstrate that each and every 3D project needs to have a tailored solution to ensure premium quality 3D acquisition and production. Sony will be showcasing its first 3D shoulder camcorder prototype, new software options for the revolutionary MPE-200 hardware that will enable 2D to 3D conversion, an innovative picture stitching application and a 3D capable video effects unit for the MVS-8000 family. IBC will also see the launch of Vegas 10, the latest version of the popular editing software will facilitate native 3D ingest and editing. Visitors to the stand will also be able to see Sony professional 3D monitors in both 24” and 42” dimensions.
The new addition to Sony’s 3D workflow portfolio is its first 3D shoulder camcorder prototype. It has been developed to offer increased mobility and flexibility for field use and provide high quality 3D content. Still in the development stage, this prototype will be unveiled on the Sony stand at IBC.
The hugely successful World Cup project saw Sony technology enable the live broadcast of 25 games in live 3D to a global audience. A key component of the broadcast chain was the MPE-200 Multi-Format Image Processor. This unit enabled the production of high quality 3D images in real time, maintaining perfect camera alignment for any zoom position throughout the event. Using feedback gathered in South Africa, and at other live productions Sony will demonstrate, at IBC, the latest upgrade to the software powering the MPE-200. The new software, planned for release in October, will add extra automatic alignment capabilities for the configuration and set up of the cameras, as well as a number of other operational features requested by users. Sony’s MPE-200 hardware can have a range of software packages applied to it, enabling it to be used in a multitude of broadcast scenarios. At IBC Sony will announce three new software packages which can be installed on the MPE-200.
Firstly – An application which will enable the conversion of 2D images into 3D. The software package, available before the end of 2010, will be ideal for the production of 3D images from camera positions where the mounting of 3D rigs is impossible. For example, goal net cameras or helicopter panoramas where space and weight issues prevent the positioning of rigs. Using the 2D images from these cameras the MPE-200 box will convert video into high quality 3D.
Secondly – Sony will also be showing the latest in its picture stitching technology at IBC. Due to be commercially available in Spring 2011, picture stitching uses three co-sited cameras to produce one panoramic image. The image streams from the mounted cameras are stitched together to form one overall picture. From this an operator can create a virtual camera and position this according to the on screen action, allowing broadcasters a view of any point of interest in the scene. The software can also be programmed with additional depth information, for example a football stadium; to artificially create a 3D view of the scene.
Thirdly – The ability to overlay graphics is crucial in live production and Sony will be making this possible with an addition to the MVS range. At IBC Sony will demonstrate an innovative video processor companion for the MVS-8000 family of production switchers. This software package for the MPE-200, when used in conjunction with an MVS-8000 series switcher, will enable 2D and 3D graphics to be overlaid on 3D video in real-time.
The MVS-8000 switcher is a key component of Sony’s end-to-end 3D solution. Having been used as part of the World Cup production setup this product has already proven its value at the biggest footballing event in the world. At IBC we will show the latest addition to the range; the MVS-8000X. This switcher can handle 3D images directly from the camera and also supports 1080/50p productions. As the latest model in the highly successful MVS range, it is set to become an integral part of customer’s 3D production workflow.
Beyond the technical support, 3D stereographer’s need to be able to view a pixel perfect representation of the images being captured. Sony’s 3D professional monitors will be available as full production units from October. Based upon high grade LMD 51W series chassis that provide unrivalled picture quality, the professional 3D monitors will be available in 24” and 42” models. The 3D monitors will offer a wide choice of inputs, including HD-SDI; 3D; 3G SDI; field sequential mode; side by side mode; dual stream left and right channels; and DVI line by line mode.
“Sony has learnt a lot over the past year. Our experiences and successes with the World Cup have demonstrated our capability to provide an end-to-end 3D live production workflow and we can now take and develop this knowledge for the industry,” commented Olivier Bovis, head of AV media business at Sony Professional.
There is no doubt that an ever increasing number of events will be produced in 3D and Sony will continue to innovate and provide solutions to support and encourage the adoption of this technology. As part of this commitment Sony will be opening a 3D centre of excellence at its European headquarters in Basingstoke, UK. The centre will provide training and assistance to broadcasters looking to adopt 3D and will be opening in Autumn 2010.
“Our training centre will offer production specialists and broadcast entrepreneurs the chance to evolve their own 3D content based on the technology and skills we have developed and practised. We look forward to opening our doors and will be proud of our future graduates,” concluded Olivier.