Wimbledon in 3D on BBC HD
Last year, the men's and women's finals and the men’s semi-final were enjoyed in glorious 3D, giving thousands of people the chance to participate in the most immersive tennis experience possible, but this year the BBC will offer more 3D coverage with full stereoscopic 3D transmission of the men's singles semi-finals and selective live coverage of the ladies' and men's finals, all on the BBC HD channel.
The BBC completed various stereoscopic 3D trials in 2011 such as the broadcast of the Wimbledon finals, Strictly Come Dancing and Streetdance. In 2012, on top of Wimbledon, BBC Sport will be broadcasting limited hours of the London Olympics 3D coverage.
The steeoscopic 3D effect works better when cameras are positioned lower and capture longer shots than a 2D camera would. Longer shots give a greater sense of depth. Each shot is also held for a longer time, as quick cuts in 3D footage force your eyes to refocus constantly -- and that leads to hurty eyes.
There are five 3D rigs positioned around Centre Court, each consisting of two Sony HDC-P1 cameras on an 3ality Technica 3D rig. These are smaller versions of those used to capture the World Cup, because there's less elbow room around Centre Court than there is around a football pitch.
For the duration of Wimbledon, BBC HD wil broadcast with a higher horizontal resolution of 1,920 pixels, rather than the usual 1,440, to give more detail to the two images. You'll be able to watch in 3D on all platforms, including Freeview, Freesat, Sky and Virgin. The technology behind BBC shooting is explained on Crave.cnet.co.uk.
BBC will be broadcasting full re-runs of the Men’s Singles semi-finals in 3D (one on Sat 7 July and one on Sun 8 July), and selective live coverage of the 2012 Ladies’ (Sat 7 July) and Men’s (Sun 8 July) Singles finals in 3D – free to air – on the BBC HD Channel.
The 126th Wimbledon Championships run from Monday June 25, 2012 to Sunday July 8, 2012 with coverage starting at 11:30 BST for the first seven days to accommodate the earlier start of play on outside courts.
The two-year trial experimention with 3D production means full re-runs of the men's singles semi-finals will be available in 3D, free to air, on the BBC HD Channel along with the selective live coverage of the ladies' and men's finals.
Five broadcasters, BBC, Canal+ (Spain), ESPN, Nova (Greece) and Sky Italia have confirmed plans to broadcast the live 3D feed to viewers across the globe, whilst the Men’s Final on Sunday July 8th will also be beamed to cinemas worldwide.