BBC Schedules 4K Ultra HD Broadcast Trials for World Cup

Journalist and ETCentric contributor Adrian Pennington forwarded us news that the BBC, working with research partners Arqiva and BT, plans to broadcast the World Cup final and two other FIFA matches live in 4K as part of an ongoing trial with the Ultra HD format. This marks the first time that 4K will be distributed simultaneously over IP and digital terrestrial television technologies, a hybrid distribution model that the BBC has been developing for several years. Continue reading BBC Schedules 4K Ultra HD Broadcast Trials for World Cup

Sony Confirms FIFA World Cup Final to Broadcast Live in 4K

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. Continue reading Sony Confirms FIFA World Cup Final to Broadcast Live in 4K

Optimistic Financial Reports from Electronic Arts and Activision

Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts released positive financial results and showed optimism about the holiday shopping season. EA said sales of new video game consoles from Microsoft and Sony exceeded their goals, as well as the sales of games for those devices. EA also announced a repurchase plan for $750 million shares, and a lofty profit forecast for the rest of the year. Activision reported that presales for the newest version of “World of Warcraft” are the strongest in the game’s history. Continue reading Optimistic Financial Reports from Electronic Arts and Activision

Digital Media Companies Present for Marketers at NewFronts

The Digital Content NewFronts are an annual event in which companies that offer digital video give marketers a preview of their upcoming programming so that marketers will consider buying commercials ahead of time. This year, the growing event featured The New York Times, AOL, Microsoft, BuzzFeed and others. Among the newest offerings, Condé Nast will announce its plans to rapidly expand its online video content at its NewFronts presentation next week. Continue reading Digital Media Companies Present for Marketers at NewFronts

Microsoft Planning Original TV Programming for Xbox Console

Microsoft is expanding beyond video games in an effort to make its Xbox console more of an entertainment media hub. The software giant is planning to produce TV-like original programming including an expected series from Steven Spielberg based on “Halo,” a version of Swedish sci-fi show “Humans,” a soccer reality-style series and a documentary about discarded Atari games. Microsoft joins a growing field as companies such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Yahoo are tackling original content. Continue reading Microsoft Planning Original TV Programming for Xbox Console

Kinect Sports Rivals: Next Wave of Motion-Controlled Gaming

Since the launch of the Nintendo Wii in 2006, consumers have found the idea of motion-controlled gaming to be appealing. However, the actual product never seems to work as well as promised. The recently released $60 “Kinect Sports Rivals” game uses new technology that aims to change those performance concerns. The technology includes an upgraded Kinect sensor, bundled with Microsoft’s $450 Xbox One game console. The new Kinect can detect finer body movements such as the opening and closing of a hand. Continue reading Kinect Sports Rivals: Next Wave of Motion-Controlled Gaming

Sony, FIFA to Shoot Three World Cup Matches and Film in 4K

Sony and FIFA revealed their 4K plans for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, scheduled for Brazil in June/July. Three matches are scheduled to be shot in 4K: one match from the round of 16, one match from the quarterfinals, and the July 13th final match in Rio de Janeiro. In addition to select broadcasters, the live 4K coverage will be made available to select cinemas internationally. Sony and FIFA also have plans to jointly produce the Official 2014 FIFA World Cup film in 4K. Continue reading Sony, FIFA to Shoot Three World Cup Matches and Film in 4K

HPA Tech Retreat: Transitioning to an Ethernet-Based Facility

Broadcasters and other media organizations are contemplating a move to an Ethernet-based facility for their live streams for a range of compelling reasons: flexibility, simpler cabling, better economies of scale and an easier move to Ultra HDTV. At an HPA Tech Retreat panel on “Professional Networked Media,” Fox Network Engineering & Operations Vice President Thomas Edwards led a panel of broadcast executives working to make that a reality. Continue reading HPA Tech Retreat: Transitioning to an Ethernet-Based Facility

HPA Retreat: Stadium of the Future? There’s an App for That

Attendees at the Hollywood Post Alliance Tech Retreat in Indian Wells were treated on Wednesday to an in-depth technical description of the most connected sports stadium in the world. James Stellpflug, VP of sports products at media company EVS Broadcast Equipment explained the inner workings of the latest systems currently running at Sporting Park, the home of Major League Soccer team Sporting Kansas City. Last summer we reported that Sporting Park is becoming a model for stadium technology and fan engagement. Continue reading HPA Retreat: Stadium of the Future? There’s an App for That

UFC Discusses Its Big-Data Strategy at the HPA Tech Retreat

The HPA Tech Retreat was in full swing on Tuesday, and one of the most intriguing presentations was a case study in the use of Big Data, given by Christy King, VP digital technology and R&D at the Ultimate Fighting Championship. King, co-presenting with journalist Deborah McAdams of TV Technology outlined the methods that UFC employs to collect and analyze data about its fans and viewers, including how they use that data to make decisions about marketing and expansion. Continue reading UFC Discusses Its Big-Data Strategy at the HPA Tech Retreat

IBC 2013: Ultra HD Planned for World Cup and Tokyo Olympics

At the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam on Friday, FIFA and Sony announced that next year’s World Cup Final in Brazil will be produced in 4K. Sony also revealed it is developing production equipment to support 8K technology, and that 8K broadcasts are being planned for coverage of the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020. Sony hopes the announcements will help spark interest in Ultra HD, including the ultra sharp 8K, which is 16 times the resolution of current HD offerings. Continue reading IBC 2013: Ultra HD Planned for World Cup and Tokyo Olympics

Fox Takes On ESPN Saturday with Launch of Sports Channels

Tomorrow morning, the Speed and Fuel networks will be transformed into the much-hyped Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 channels, in a move intended to compete with ESPN. Fox has landed deals with college conferences Pac-12 and Big 12 football and basketball, Big East basketball, NASCAR, the UFC, Major League Baseball, World Cup soccer and, most recently, the U.S. Open golf championship. The TV everywhere companion app Fox Sports Go will not launch concurrently, as it continues its testing phase. Continue reading Fox Takes On ESPN Saturday with Launch of Sports Channels

Consumers Can Select Viewing Angles for Sports and Concerts

The new OmniCam360 camera system uses a collection of cameras to create multiple angles for live televised events such as soccer matches and music concerts. The system provides viewers with the option to choose their viewing angle, including a 360-degree view of the event. The camera was developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications in Berlin, Germany. Viewers can use a computer, tablet or smart TV in order to select views via their virtual cameras in real-time. Continue reading Consumers Can Select Viewing Angles for Sports and Concerts

Sporting Kansas City Connects to New Fans Via Smartphones

Robb Heineman has transformed the MLS Kansas City Wizards into the Sporting Kansas City, now one of the most tech savvy sports teams, using technology to connect to fans and to fill the stadium past capacity. This year, Sporting Kansas City has a waiting list for season tickets and has sold out 27 consecutive games. The team is becoming a model for stadium technology and fan engagement, and is creating a new business in the process. Continue reading Sporting Kansas City Connects to New Fans Via Smartphones

Soccer Goes High Tech So Referees Can Make Better Calls

A kicked soccer ball can travel more than ten times faster than what the naked eye can perceive. Soccer referees are human and suffer from this limitation, with soccer fans often enduring the pain. GoalControl, a German company, is looking to fix this problem. It will provide high-tech monitoring of goal lines and reporting systems that help maintain absolute accuracy. This new instant-replay tool will ensure that referees make the right calls. Continue reading Soccer Goes High Tech So Referees Can Make Better Calls

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