Sony’s Data Augmented Video tech edges towards market
By: Andy Stout
Tuesday, February 7, 2012 - 4:02 pm

One of the more intriguing demos at IBC was of Sony’s Data Augmented Video, which melds the company’s PictureStitch technology with a data feed – STATS for football or Hawkeye for tennis at the demo – to produce a very large 6k x 1k picture with an awful lot of data within it and therefore numerous possibilities for broadcasters. Andy Stout looks at progress since.

“We’ve just done two events with Canal+ and Euromedia as a test, and that went very well and their production is now thinking about how they’d like to use it. It does change the workflow a bit – it’s not a simple plug-in to a production as it gives them different things, so that needs some thinking about,” says Mark Grinyer, Head of Live Production Business Development- 3D and Sports for Sony Professional.

Indeed, France is a fecund area for DAV and all manner of broadcast technologies at the moment, as the ferment of rights issues there leaves broadcasters jockeying for position and looking to differentiate their offerings. Further tests there are soon to get underway with broadcasters Grinyer is not quite willing to name just yet, but expect to hear something soon.

“We’re also doing a lot of work with deltatre at the moment,” he adds, shifting the focus East a few miles. “We’ve done a trial in Italy with them and some of the bits and pieces, and they’re looking at whether it’s a viable option for themselves. That’s going pretty well as well. They operate the STATS system too so it’s an easy roll-out for them.

“We’ve also started to look at South America, where we’re getting quite a bit of interest from the big soccer nations.”

Inevitably the company is seeing a lot of interest in second screen applications, with a DAV-augmented screen running alongside the mainstream broadcast on a tablet being a favoured model.

“Following that FOX/NASCAR model it’s about providing additional data,” he says. “If you think of DAV, if you put that on a tablet, then they can look at their favourite players while watching the main broadcast, and that’s an area where we’re getting lots of interest at the moment.”

While the product is still being finalised, Sony Professional is offering it as an early adopter rental package rather than a fully fledged purchase. And finalisation and development is very much ongoing, particularly in the area of performance. “We’re now sub-second in operation so can give a live stream,” Grinyer says. “During tests last weekend we were hitting 12 frames delay with full telestration, which is a step further along than we were hoping to be.”

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