DTG 3DTV Technical Seminar – London: BSkyB’s chief engineer Chris Johns has outlined some of the challenges facing the broadcaster in the production of 3DTV content. Speaking at a 3D seminar organized by the Digital TV Group, Johns said Sky was now capturing 3D content on virtually a weekly basis, including football, rugby, tennis and game shows. “Realistically we’ve been testing 3D for the last 18 months, live events since October last year, so we know we can deliver it to the set-top box. The workflows are proven and we know we can use our existing HD infrastructure”. On display were scenes recorded at Arsenal’s Premier League game against Bolton the previous evening.
Referring to James Cameron’s 3D vehicle Avatar, Johns said the movie was really only produced in 3D when it was required with the director toning down the 3D elements during high action scenes. The same approach is being taken by Johns and his team. “Sky is trying to do 3D in a much more subtle manner, it’s the emotion behind it rather than throwing spears at your face”.
Johns described a 3D game show hosted by Noel Edmonds where the presenter would constantly grab the camera, although both Edmonds and his director were pleased with their work, the recording was less successful because the action made it difficult to watch.
Another concern is data and graphics, particularly subtitles, and their position on the screen. Next week the DVB will meet to discuss the specification of the right data so that it is interpreted in the right fashion by the TV display and the set-top box.