An insight into the future of sports broadcasting as discussed at the Broadcast Live and Video Forum conference.
Oversupply in the outside broadcast market is offering producers the chance to squeeze the cost of HD sport production and making OB suppliers think hard about their business models.
According to Adrian Kingston, BBC Outside Broadcasts' lead engineering manager for Wimbledon, shooting in HD is cheaper now than it has ever been but it could even become cheaper still.
“There is a lot of investment in HD OB units,” said Kingston, speaking at Broadcast Live and Video Forum. “The latter, coupled with general OB oversupply, means that from a production point of view there are opportunities to squeeze prices especially on the spot market.”
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Meanwhile, Mervyn Hall, Wimbledon broadcast liaison manager, said the introduction of the hawkeye camera, which is used in cricket and tennis coverage and is set to be introduced for football following trials at Fulham FC, had fundamentally changed sport's relationship with TV.
"TV technology has moved from being a smart production tool to a become part of the game, with players using the hawkeye to challenge judgements," he said.
"I'm not sure there's anything much more radical on the way. It's hard to dream up something that challenges sport quite so much."
Beijing Olympics and iView
Among the other developments being discussed was the BBC's iView, which will take feeds from a number of fixed cameras to create 3D-style reconstructions of sporting events.
And the Beijing Olympics, where kit from sport television slo-mo server manufacturer EVS is involved in the global coverage. The whole event will be produced in HD, utilising up to 30 HD cameras at any one time in each of 60 OB trucks producing 40 feeds.
Kingston, Hall and EVS general manager EMEA Henry Alexander were speaking at a session at the Broadcast Live Video Forum devoted to technology and sport.