Journalist and ETCentric contributor Adrian Pennington forwarded us exclusive confirmation that FIFA has signed broadcasters to go live with the Ultra HD signal of three World Cup matches from Brazil. The news has been confirmed by Sony, which serves as the production partner to FIFA and host broadcaster HBS. Previous announcements pointed to the 4K recording of the World Cup Final and two earlier matches for a FIFA Films 4K movie to be distributed online after the event, but now broadcasters also plan to take the feed live.
“This moves the 4K three-match production of the tournament from a high-profile technical test to a breakthrough commercial trial of Ultra HD’s value to audiences,” Adrian writes for SVG Europe. “While the number of Ultra HD sets needed to view the higher resolution content remains a fraction of the installed base of HDTVs, Sony will not be alone in hoping that a Ultra HD World Cup will translate into mass awareness and adoption.”
“Three matches including a quarter-final and the final at Rio’s Maracanã stadium will be covered in 4K,” reports Adrian. “Twelve Sony F55 cameras and a number of upconverted specialist cameras (such as a helicam and tunnel camera) will create the 4K live mix although the number is a third that of the 37 camera HD production.”
“With fewer cameras one of the things we are working on is to make sure the footage shows off 4K and does tell the story of the match rather than becoming just a showreel for 4K,” said Mark Grinyer, Sony’s World Cup 2014 program manager. “It’s a delicate balance. We’re taking learnings from 3D [Sony and HBS produced 25 matches in South Africa in stereoscopic 3D] by starting off using wider, slightly lower down shots and then see where we can get to on close-ups without losing any of the central image.”
Sony has contracted Brazil’s Globosat for the 4K production and will be testing out a new 4K truck outfitted similarly to the tech specs of Telegenic’s T25 unit, which was used for the Confederations Cup 4K live production.