BSkyB has commissioned Telegenic to build its first outside broadcast truck specifically for stereoscopic 3D production.

A competitive tender saw the High Wycombe-based OB company awarded a contract for an expanding unit that will make use of seven dedicated 3D camera rigs, potentially from US firm 3ality.

The truck will be used to produce live and recorded coverage of sport and entertainment events for a dedicated 3D channel to be launched by Sky next year.

BSkyB director of product development Brian Lenz said: “You can take an existing HD truck and flip it [so it can do 3D], and this is what we are doing at the moment for our trials. But it will be better to have a truck that is fit for purpose that we can roll in and roll out in the same time frame.”

The 3D part of the truck build will centre on providing gallery space for stereographers and the addition of tools for handling and synchronising two full-resolution signals at the same time.

“We will use one stereographer per camera system,” explained Lenz. “These operators set the 3D convergence point using a specially set up screen and control 3ality’s Stereo Image Processor system that drives the 3D cameras. The director cuts the cameras watching on a 3D screen”.

Lenz said that as 90% of the truck will feature regular HD capable components, it will cost only “marginally more” to build than a standard HD truck.

Included will be a Calrec audio desk, two Sony SRW-5800 VTRs, up to four EVS replay servers and a graphics system from Vizrt.

The 3ality 3D camera rigs are being trialled this week at the ATP World Tour Finals tennis event at the O2 Arena in London.

Update 28.01.10:

The truck is being designed from the ground-up by Telegenic’s engineering team supported by Sony’s Professional Services division.

Sony HDC-1500R cameras – complete with T-block option – will be used for some content capture while a Sony MVS-8000G vision mixer capable of handling dual stream stereo signals as if they were a single source will also be installed.

Sony 3D processor boxes will form a major part of the 3D set-up