Panasonic brings French Open to European Audiences in 3D

Panasonic has announced that the entire 2011 French Tennis Open will be broadcast live in 3D to over 17 countries across Europe (excluding France) in cooperation with Eurosport, making it one of the first multi-day sporting events available in 3D to thousands of European homes. 3D broadcast of the event will also be provided in France in partnership with Orange.

Eurosport’s live 3D broadcast will be distributed by many of the largest operators across Europe. Sports fans with 3D-capable TV sets can visit the Eurosport website to know if the 3D broadcast is available in their country, and learn how to access the channel to enjoy the matches in the exceptional immersive experience that 3D offers.

“We are extremely excited to be able to fulfil the promise of live 3D TV in people’s living rooms,” Laurent Abadie, Chairman and CEO, Panasonic Europe says. “We feel we have come a long way from last year, when we broadcast live to almost 3000 European retail stores, to now be delivering 3D directly to peoples’ homes in over 17 countries as well as more than 7500 shops this year. Sporting events, especially like the prestigious French Tennis Open, offer a compelling 3D TV experience, so it is important that the industry strives to do more live 3D sport broadcasts to help drive the 3D market forward.”

Laurent-Eric Le Lay, Chairman and CEO, Eurosport added, “The successful uptake of Eurosport’s 3D coverage of the French Tennis Open by operators across Europe demonstrates the attractiveness and growing potential of live sports programming in 3D. Eurosport is delighted to take its longstanding partnership with Panasonic one step further to bring the French Tennis Open direct to sports fans homes in 17 different countries.”

Panasonic’s technologies are being used extensively in the production at Roland Garros, including Panasonic’s latest 3D camcorder, the upcoming AG-3DP1, which is being used for the first time for live broadcasting. This P2HD series 3D camcorder comes with a newly developed 17x twin lens zoom lens system (tentatively) and features an expanded range for both wide-angle and telephoto settings to provide an angle of view for diverse shooting situations. It combines high-sensitivity, high-resolution sensors and high-quality 3D HD recording in a compact package.

Panasonic’s 3D end-to-end solution will be used during the French Tennis Open 3D broadcast as a number of Panasonic’s professional products will be used in the production. Products being used include: the AG-3DA1 Camera Recorder, a side-by-side rig with two AK-HC1800 box cameras, six AV-HS450 Multi-format live switchers, P2 Mobile-Memory Card Portable Recorder/Player, BT-3DL2550 3D production monitors and BT-LH910 3D production monitors.

The company will also unveil the first ever demonstration of 3D Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV). 3D HbbTV is an important step forward for the 3D revolution, as it allows people to watch streamed 3D content just as you would 2D TV content using catch-up services through connected TVs and set-top boxes.

HbbTV is a new pan-European initiative aimed at harmonising the broadcast and broadband delivery of entertainment services, to help the consumer effectively manage the rapidly increasing amount of TV content available to them. The HbbTV specification was developed by industry leaders and is being used by Panasonic to give people more opportunities to view 3D content.

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