Rock concert reveals future of 3D TV

Rock concert reveals future of 3D TV
A live 3D broadcast was successfully executed when British band, Keane took to the stage at London’s famous Abbey Road studios. The event placed the band in the history books as 3D production company, Inition, claimed Keane was the first band to broadcast live to a 3D TV set. An audience at Abbey Road watched the show on two Hyundai 46” high definition 3D TV screens.

The gig was broadcast via Sky’s satellite network and existing Sky+HD set-top boxes and was part of a 3D music event co-produced by Inition, Sky, production company Nineteen Fifteen Productions and Keene’s record label - Island Records. A 3D webcast of the performance was also displayed on Keane’s website.

Sky broadcast over a high definition satellite transponder using Sensio encoding. A few miles away in London’s Leicester Square, the Vue cinema showed the live gig, broadcast via a satellite uplink and using Sensio’s 3D Cinema Encoder. Furthermore, Keane fans around the world used anaglyph (red/cyan) glasses to view the separate 3D webcast.

Back at Abbey Road cameras recorded the gig at full HD for archival purposes. The equipment comprised five 3D rigs from Inition, including three 3D Mirror Rigs, and two side-by-side rigs (one SteadiCam and one PoleCam). The 3D mirror rig from P+S Technik allows creation of 3D films without the limitations of a side-by-side system. 3D monitoring of live and preview feeds were handled with several StereoBrain Processors, a product from Inition and NuMedia Technology that provides a range of broadcast quality video processing units. Finally, Inition handled 3D technical architecture, 3D technical production, stereography and 3D camera build.

Andy Millns, director of Inition, said: "It was fantastic seeing a project on this scale through from initial concept to delivery. In terms of complexity, this was the most advanced 3D shoot I've been involved with but it all worked seamlessly and I was delighted with the results. Working closely with the OB suppliers Telegenic, we put in a full five camera OB using a mixture of bespoke and off-the-shelf equipment and put it all into Abbey Road in one day as there was no room for a truck outside the studio."

Gerry O’Sullivan, Sky’s director of Strategic Product Development, said he was excited to have worked with Keane in the exploration of 3D TV technology. “Being able to broadcast a live event in 3D is a real breakthrough as previous demonstrations have relied on recorded material. This is the first time we’ve broadcast a live event in 3D over satellite and it shows the significant progress we’re making with our research and development activity. The Keane event not only gave us new insight into our ability to deliver a rich and immersive live 3D experience into the home, but also confirmed that arts programming is another genre which has the potential to benefit from 3D.

“We are continuing to talk to a range of different partners and content owners to find out how far we can take this technology.”