HD makes return to Wimbledon; Hawk-Eye makes debut

By Kevin

SVG Europe correspondent

The All

England Tennis
Championships began today at

although rain is disrupting play. This year’s competition marks two
major broadcasting anniversaries: the BBC first broadcast coverage of
the tournament in 1937, albeit for only half-an-hour a day, and began
colour transmissions in 1967.

Aside from those 70th and 40th birthdays,

transmissions are into their second HD year and the Hawk-Eye
computerized tracking system is now being used on court to allow
players to challenge line calls as well as for TV analysis. This is
only the second time the technology has been used for a grass court
event, following its successful debut at the

Artois Championships at the Queens Club in

earlier this month.

Hawk-Eye inventor Paul Hawkins and his team have installed 10 cameras each on

Centre Court
and No. 1 Court, with the tracking shots displayed on big video screens. In addition to the Hawk-Eye cameras there are up to 19

cameras for

Centre Court
and up to 12 for No. 1. In total there will be 69

cameras around

Wimbledon, including 20 HD
cameras, six HD cameras working in split head mode, five Super SloMo HD cameras, two HD radio cameras, 31 SD cameras, four Super SloMo SD cameras and one SD radio camera.

Three BBC Outside Broadcast production units will be providing onsite

facilities, including HD trucks Unit 2 and Unit 12. The BBC has been broadcasting in surround sound from

since the late 1990s, first in analogue matrixed stereo and now in digital 5.1.

Centre Court at

Wimbledon is currently
undergoing a major refurbishment.

Next year the court will feature a new see-through cover that can close in

case of rain. Right now it is completely open to the elements as the old

roof has been removed. As the roof contained a distributed public address

loudspeaker system a temporary array of loudspeakers has been installed

along the back of the West stand.

Installation company RG Jones and manufacturer Duran Audio have worked with

Wimbledon officials and the BBC to ensure that
the sound does not distract the players and spectators or bleed into the broadcast coverage.

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