SIS Live has begun testing the technology and workflows required to deliver live, 4K, multi-camera event coverage.
The OB firm has conducted proof of concept tests with a range of cameras coupled with its 3G-capable outside broadcast unit OB 14.
A Sony F65 camera, which was paired with a Fujinon 75mm-400mm lens recording to the camera’s onboard 256GB flash memory cards was used to shoot footage of Newcastle’s home Premier League tie against Chelsea on 2 February.
Psitech’s 4K Vortex high data rate camera capture system was also used.
SIS Live said its camera operatives gained “invaluable” experience operating the F65, demonstrating how 4K acquisition requires a different approach to HD camera operation, using wide shots to allow VT operatives and production staff to create multiple shots from the same camera position.
SIS Live commercial director Phil Aspden said: “4K technology is still at an early stage and there is a huge difference in the requirements of single camera capture compared to that needed to transmit live shows.
“Live sport, for example, requires very reliable equipment with very low failure rates.
“If a shot is missed due to failed equipment there is rarely an opportunity to restage the event. This becomes even more challenging when the technology has to be compact enough to be mobile and able to operate from a range of locations.
“Outside broadcast vehicles provide finite space which limits the amount of equipment that can be installed.
“OB environments are often challenging which puts extra demands on the equipment so any 4K equipment needs to be as compact, portable and reliable as possible to be able to capture the range of shots we currently achieve in OB scenarios.”
SIS Live supported the BBC and NHK in their Super Hi-Vision transmissions of the opening and closing ceremonies and other events at the London 2012 Olympics.
SIS Live managing director David Meynell said: “It is inarguable that 4K technology is going to be part of our future.
“If the popularity of 4K consumer technology continues to rise we will reach a point where broadcasters want to transmit live events in 4K and this means that SIS Live needs to be ready to deliver.
“As with all new technologies we are monitoring its development and potential demand closely, ensuring that we remain at the forefront of technological development.”
The SIS LIve tests follow Sky’s own experiements with the technology towards the end of last year.