Suns to stage real-time 3-D HD broadcast of Western Conference finals

The Phoenix Suns are in discussion to stage a real-time 3-D HD broadcast of the NBA’s Western Conference finals, should they get past the San Antonio Spurs, at the US Airways Center for Suns fans who can’t attend the game.

The technology to be used, at a cost of about $300,000 for the single event, is the same as that used for the NBA’s All-Star game in Las Vegas earlier this year. It uses a system developed in cooperation with Vincent Pace (via the PaceHD division and Fusion 3D camera system), Bexel, Sony and Real-D.

Six customized HD camera systems (each made up of two modified Sony HDC-1500 cameras with Canon HD lenses, mounted side by side) will be set up in the competing team’s arena, strategically located at different positions. Two operators will man these unique camera rigs, one focusing on the typical game action, while the other provides depth of field coverage. The camera feeds are then distributed via fiber to a portable HD fly-pack system (put together by Bexel) in a mobile production truck that includes a Sony MVS 8000A switcher and an EVS XT[2] server.

The output of the switcher (two uncompressed HD signals at about 3Gb/s) will be sent to the US Airways Center via fiber cabling, where fans will watch the game on a large-screen television. The 3-D images will be displayed using two stacked Sony SXRD 4K projectors. The projectors are fitted with a special polarizing filter supplied by 3-D specialists Real D. To get the full 3-D effect, audience members will wear special polarizing glasses.