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World Cup to be broadcast in 3D

Aruna, Sensio to offer technology to stadiums, cinemas

LAS VEGAS — Tuesday’s announcement that the World Cup soccer tournament will be broadcast in 3D to stadiums and cinemas around the world is another big step in the adoption of the TV format by sporting events.

For the entertainment industry, though, the more important result might be the establishment of a worldwide 3D network for large venues.

Aruna Media AG and tech provider Sensio are teaming up for what Justin Ackerman, managing director and co-founder of Aruna Media AG called “the first-ever global live 3D event.” Broadcast will go to all continents except Antarctica.

“Whenever there’s a global event happening, you can use that network,” Nicholas Routhier,

president and CEO of 3D technology provider Sensio told Variety . “It’s already established, amortized and functional. That will encourage a lot of new projects. Even in the near future, we’re going to see concerts and other worldwide sporting events saying, ‘we want to be part of this.’?”

Aruna Media AG and Sensio announced their arrangement Tuesday. Sensio provides the distribution technology to send high-quality 3D over conventional HD channels. Aruna holds live broadcast rights for out-of-home 3D HD for the World Cup, which is being held this year from June 11 to July 11 in South Africa.

That’s a huge logistical challenge, said Routhier, starting with the video format.

“It will be shot in 1080i50. Most theaters will go at 720p60.” Then, aside from de-interlacing and bit rate conversion, Sensio will have to

work out how local markets can put in their own local-language commentary, ads and 3D graphics.

With matches starting in just two months, “Training everyone in the various countries in time for the World Cup is a challenge. Most of the people who have done this won’t have done 3D before.”

Sports events have taken the lead in driving 3D television programming. Already the NHL has held its first 3D telecast, as has the PGA with its Masters Tournament. Other early users include the NCAA’s Final Four games and India’s IPL cricket matches.

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