Panasonic 3D Broadcast of US Open Serves Up a Big Hit

SECAUCUS, N.J.: This month’s 3D coverage of the 2011 US Open Tennis Championships drew critical acclaim and wide viewership. A joint production of CBS Sports, Panasonic and the United States Tennis Association (USTA), this is the second year that American viewers have had the opportunity to watch the US Open in 3D. Panasonic is the official consumer electronics sponsor of the US Open Championships, as well as sponsor of CBS Sports’ 2D and 3D US Open telecasts.

Following an Emmy Award-winning production in 2010, this year 3D coverage of the US Open was expanded to include more hours and wider distribution. The coverage was available on DirecTV’s n3D Powered by Panasonic; Comcast Xfinity 3D; Cablevision’s iO TV; and Verizon’s FiOS system. In addition, the men's and women's finals were also available in 3D via the Internet on the USTA’s website utilizing the Nvidia 3D viewing platform.

“We’ve always said that sports bring out the best in 3D, and the strong response from system operators and the public proves it,” said Eisuke Tsuyuzaki, Panasonic’s chief technology officer.

This year’s production consisted of 48 hours of 3D programming over seven days, covering matches in both Arthur Ashe Stadium and Louis Armstrong Stadium--an increase from the 40 hours of 3D programming from Arthur Ashe Stadium in 2010. The number of 3D cameras utilized was doubled to 14 this year, with three used specifically for low-angle 3D shots. A separate robotic 3D camera captured images of players during breaks, and Panasonic's AG-3DP1 prototype as well as one fly-by-wire system were also used.

Panasonic will next team up with the Olympic Broadcast Service to create more than 200 hours of 3D coverage from the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.