Tennis Anyone? U.S. Open gets a boost with 3D courtesy of Panasonic and CBS
Panasonic just announced plans to work with CBS Sports and the United States Tennis Association (USTA) for a 3D broadcast of the 2011 US Open Tennis Championships.
This will be the second consecutive year that the three will work together on the event. Last year’s 3D production snagged a 2010 Emmy Award for technical achievement. However, this year, the coverage will go beyond the Arthur Ashe Stadium to include matches from Louis Armstrong Stadium as well.
Panasonic will produce 3D versions of all of the Arthur Ashe Stadium matches that are broadcast in HD on Labor Day Weekend, as well as on Finals Weekend, which runs September 9-11, 2011. The company is also planning a bit of expanded 3D coverage, which will include new, 3D-specific positions that are covered by ten 3D broadcast cameras and a high-speed 3D replay system.
The 3D broadcasts will use a separate production team and equipment from the traditional HD broadcasts of the tournament. During the event, Panasonic will use a pre-production model of the upcoming 3DP1 handheld Full HD 3D professional camcorder to capture match and grounds coverage. The 3DP1 is expected to launch later this fall. For overall court coverage, they will incorporate the same 3D broadcast camera shadow rigs designed by the Cameron Pace Group that were used last year.
“Working with our partners CBS Sports and Panasonic, we once again expect to be a leader in presenting our sport to fans in breathtaking new ways,” said Harlan Stone, the USTA’s chief business and communications officer. “Last year we saw the impressive production values for 3D television and now, by including Louis Armstrong Stadium and expanding our distribution, we are bringing this innovative new look to the sport to more people than ever before.”
If you’re planning to be part of the action, make sure to stop by the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Panasonic will offer 3D public viewing galleries, using the latest large-screen VIERA Full HD 3D TVs. Besides coverage of the event, visitors will also get to see some of the latest Blu-ray players and Panasonic’s VIERA Connect technology in action, with Skype, Facebook and Twitter demos. The Panasonic “Experience Amazing” 3D exhibits can be found on the ground level of Louis Armstrong Stadium, at the Panasonic 3D Gaming Center within the SmashZone, and at the Panasonic VIERA Connect booth in the South Plaza in front of Court 10.
Besides on-site event coverage, Panasonic plans to engage attendees using the FourSquare program for a scavenger hunt. Prizes, such as a Panasonic Full HD 3D Home Entertainment system, will be awarded. The full details on this promotion will be announced at a later date.
If you can’t make it out, you can catch CBS Sports’ 3D telecast of the 2011 US Open on DIRECTV’s n/3D Powered by Panasonic network, which can be found on channel 103. Comcast will also offer the broadcast coverage to Xfinity 3D subscribers. There could be additional providers announced soon, with Best Buy and other retail outlets also showing some of the 3D coverage in stores. Otherwise, you can find 3D action streaming live on the USOpen.org website.
Panasonic will use a pre-production model of the 3DP1 handheld Full HD 3D professional camcorder to capture some of the 2011 US Open.