Michael Grotticelli /
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
NASCAR Media Group tries its hand at 3-D

Looking to improve the viewing experience for race fans, NASCAR Media Group, a media, marketing and entertainment company, and Turner Sports, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, will produce and broadcast (both on satellite TV and online) the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Race from Daytona International Speedway on July 3rd live in 3-D on the TNT channel.

The 3-D production, NASCAR's first, will be made available through TNT RaceBuddy on NASCAR.com as well as through DIRECTV.

NASCAR.com will feature 3-D feeds for the Daytona race in addition to a variety of HD POV cameras and user-selectable camera angles throughout the six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races televised on TNT.

The production team for the inaugural 3-D broadcast includes director Billy McCoy, technical producer Bill Chapman, and producer Matt Mosteller.

TNT has hired 3ality Digital to provide the camera and 3-D processing systems — including beam-splitter rigs, side-by-side systems and possibly two robotic cameras. Bexel Broadcast Services is supplying the 3-D production truck, much of the technical infrastructure and other portable facilities. NASCAR Media Group is supporting the logistical efforts with power, fiber-optic cabling and support services.

Turner, which manages NASCAR.com, will also make the Sprint Cup Series race from Daytona International Speedway available in 3-D through DIRECTV. To experience the event in 3-D, viewers will need a 3-D TV or PC display with matching -3D glasses. Fans can go to TNT RaceBuddy on NASCAR.com to get more information about the hardware and software used to view the 3-D production online.

Jay Abraham, chief operating officer of NASCAR Media Group, said fans have been asking about 3-D for several months.

The 3-D production will feature two custom racing feeds produced specifically for 3-D. The first will provide a unique look at the racing action from strategically placed cameras around the track designed to maximize the effect of 3-D. The second stream will focus on pit row.

The TNT network will provide continuous race coverage free of national commercial breaks and features more unobstructed race action than that of a standard telecast by using a letterbox widescreen format.

NASCAR Media Group is the exclusive rights holder of NASCAR event footage, race data and content.

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