Juan Pablo Conti ©RapidTVNews | 04-08-2011
Richard Scudamore, CEO of the English Premier League, is in discussions with broadcast technology vendor Sony and video gaming giant Electronic Arts (EA) to turn the TV transmission of football games into a fully immersive viewing experience.
Interviewed by The Guardian, Scudamore said the technology could be readily available in two to five years. Described as the next evolution after 3D television, it would allow viewers to select the exact position inside the stadium from where they would like to soak up the atmosphere. That would include not only a particular stand with its corresponding set of noisy fans but also rare viewing angles such as from behind the dugouts.
In order to feel as if they were really inside the stadium, viewers would need to wear headphones. The article does not delve much into the technical innovations that would drive such a system, however it does mention what appear to be two important pieces of the puzzle.
One of them is Super Wide, a type of panoramic picture developed by Sony whereby footage captured by multiple cameras is stitched together to obtain a virtual full view of the venue. The other one is the use of 3D holographic technology created by EA. This would be used, initially, to generate replays of certain phases of play, with the ultimate goal being that such immersive experience could be enjoyed in real time.