Europe: Eutelsat, Euro1080 ink 3D Deal

Eutelsat Communications and Euro1080 have formed a partnership aimed at enhancing content for Eutelsat's 3D channel. The venue is broadcast across Europe by Eurobird 9A.

The exclusive pact calls for Euro1080 and its HD production and broadcast company, Alfacam, to team on the fledgling 3D channel. Alfacam has produced live and recorded 3D content for various sporting events and musical concerts. Euro1080 said Alfacam already boasts a catalog of more than 100 hours of 3D content — mostly soccer, tennis, boxing, and cricket, as well as a few documentaries and concerts.

Alfacam said it's hardly new to the 3D game, having initiated its own 3D strategy in 2007 (long before 3D motion pictures started making it big in the past year or so). In recent months, Alfacam has maintained a remote production truck ("OB43") to produce and record 3D sports events. In the last week in April and first week in May alone, it said it's produced more than 20 hours of 3D content — such as the Emir Cup soccer championship in Doha, Qatar.

Among several "firsts," Alfacam said it was the first TV producer in 1992 to work in "digital 16:9." and also first (in 2000) to record events in digital HD.

"Whereas producing in HD was not that different from Standard Definition, there are huge differences between 2D and 3D production: the rhythm, the camera positions, the camera movements," Alfacam said in a statement. "In fact, the complete technology and production are different. Generally we use fewer cameras and we try to avoid longer shots, [since] viewers need to adapt their eyes to depth levels each time we cut to another image" in 3D.