Pixel Power Delivers for 3D U.S. Open Graphics Enhancement

By Ken Kerschbaumer

U.S. Open viewers on NBC in the U.S. and BSkyB in the UK are being treated to new graphics that incorporate shot-tracking data, with 3D virtual representations of the Bethpage Black golf course that make it easier to understand where a player is on a hole and compare him with others in his group. PinPoint Visualisation, a UK-based company, powers the system on the backend while graphics provider Pixel Power drives the frontend viewer experience.

“We started working together on trials at golf tournaments in the UK,” says Pixel Power CEO Pete Challinger.

In addition to accurate flyovers with ball location, the system delivers a player’s-eye view down to the minute details of ball position. The system also offers exclusive physics modeling around the green to predict the ball’s path during putting. Unlike traditional animation-based systems, the PinPoint Visualisation system was designed specifically for HD broadcast, delivering performance and ease of use that fits the needs of live production.

Pixel Power LogoVision graphics systems take the data points produced by the PinPoint system to create precise information graphics featuring player information, ball position, ball physics, and more. The data is delivered to Pixel Power Toolbox, a system that enables graphics to be created automatically and in real time. The system intelligently adapts the on-air graphics to account for varying numbers of players and other data points, ensuring an aesthetically pleasing presentation. Two LogoVision graphics system render the final output.

“The technology allows for real-time visualization,” says Challinger. “ToolBox applies intelligence and pulls up the proper template [for the hole] and puts the data in the right place.”

“As sports fans ourselves, we understand the desire for a broadcast experience that truly puts the viewer on the scene of the greatest events,” says Martin Lloyd, broadcast general manager of PinPoint Visualisation. “In many ways, the system we have deployed with Pixel Power for the U.S. Open is even better than being there. The home viewer has information and visual cues to fully immerse them in the moment.”

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