With Panasonic in Its Corner, WealthTV Takes on 3D Boxing

WealthTV entered the ring in a big way last week, broadcasting the network’s first-ever boxing match in both live HD 2D and delayed-broadcast 3D. The luxury-lifestyle and entertainment network showcased Viva Don King, featuring the WBA World Cruiserweight Championship between titleholder Guillermo “El Felino” Jones and Mike Marrone, on Nov. 5, live from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL.

Viva Don King, produced in conjunction with Don King Productions, was an 11-bout card culminating in the WBA World Cruiserweight Championship match. Says Stephen Alberts, broadcast promotions director at WealthTV, “We [streamed] the fight live in HD on our Website and broadcast it through our normal channel [and] did a pretty simple 3D cut of the boxing match aside from the HD 2D [show].”

In addition to nine HD cameras for the 2D show, WealthTV deployed its stock of Panasonic 3DA1 cameras, which normally travel around the world capturing 3D images, to create a 3D show for a delayed broadcast of Viva Don King. Four fights, including the championship match, were televised.

Panasonic AG-3DA1 camcorders are equipped with dual lenses and two full-1920×1080 2.07-megapixel 3-MOS imagers. They can record in numerous formats, including 1080/60i, 50i, 30p, 25p, and 24p (native) and 720/60p and 50p in AVCHD.

For Viva Don King, WealthTV set up one 3DA1 as a wide-shot camera and used a second 3DA1 ringside as a roaming handheld. The compact size and fixed interaxial of the 3D camcorder is especially suited to productions with fast-moving action, like a boxing match.

In sports production, “being able to quickly move and change where you are in relationship to the action [is key],” says Jan Crittenden Livingston, product line business manager, Panasonic Solutions Co. “Using a camcorder that’s all-in-one [like the Panasonic AG-3DA1] makes it very fast and fairly easy to move from location to location, or distance to subject, fairly easily.”

Alongside the 3DA1s, WealthTV had the opportunity to use a preproduction model of the upcoming AG-3DP1 3D P2 HD shoulder-mount camcorder, slated for release in January.

“The 3DP1 was facing straight on from above the ring and acted as our A cam, or main shot,” says Alberts. “It had great zoom capabilities, so I was able to get in real tight on fighters throughout the matches.”

The Panasonic AG-3DP1 3D P2 HD shoulder-mount camcorder works better in low lighting because of larger chip sets. Like the 3DA1, the 3DP1 incorporates stereoscopic-adjustment controls but is equipped with a longer lens, ⅓-in. Full HD 2.2-megapixel 3-MOS imagers, and color indicators for native 1920×1080-resolution images. With its target release date fast approaching, Panasonic is lending the prototype in order to incorporate end-user feedback into the final product.

“Panasonic gave us the opportunity to use the prototype camera,” says Alberts. “[The 3DP1] is a broadcast-quality hand-built prototype. We were fortunate to have [that] special-made camera to supplement the cameras that we were already using.”

Looking to expand its audience and advance the seven-year-old network’s brand, WealthTV signed an exclusive deal with Don King Productions to televise the WBA World Cruiserweight Championship live in the U.S. Currently, San Diego-based WealthTV is available in approximately 14 million households on more than 100 cable systems, including Verizon FiOS TV and AT&T U-verse.

WealthTV’s 3D programming is available on Verizon FiOS TV, connected TVs, Blu-ray players via the Vudu On-Demand platform, and WealthTV’s standalone channel on the Roku player and other connected devices.

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