As FIFA and Sony kick off their HD coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup with today's Brazil/Croatia match-up in São Paulo, preparations are well underway to shoot three key matches from the competition in 4K. It's not yet clear where those live games might actually be broadcast in 4K, but some of the footage will be repurposed for The Official 2014 FIFA World Cup Film, which is slated to be distributed online in 4K by FIFA after the tournament is finished, the companies said.
The first match to be shot in 4K as part of the agreement will be part of the round of 16 on June 28. It will be followed by a quarterfinal on July 4 and the final match on July 13. All three 4K matches will be played at the Estadio Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro.
Sony has worked with FIFA to develop a 4K live production system employing CineAlta PMW-F55 cameras, the PWS-4400 multi-port AV storage unit, the PVM-X200 4K LCD monitor, and the MVC-7000X 4K multi-format switcher. Lenses for the 4K production are being provided by Fujinon, Sony said.
Quantel is providing a Genetic Engineering 2 system, including two Pablo Rio 4KOs, that will handle 4K 60p XAVC media recorded either on the F55s or the PWS-4400 XAVC server in real time. All of the XAVC files will be available for viewing and editing on the Rio systems with no transcoding or other importing steps required, Quantel said.
In addition, London's Advanced Television
reports that FIFA is at least experimenting with 8K production
this year in cooperation with NHK of Japan. FIFA's TV head, Niclas Ericson, told the publication that "a handful of cameras" will be shooting "a few matches" in 8K, and that the higher-resolution footage will be downconverted to 4K so that it can be used for the 4K productions.
As the delivery partner of Host Broadcast Services for the tournament, Sony is providing coverage of all 64 matches in HD, setting up each of the 12 venues for HD broadcast. Rio's Globosat and London's Telegenic, which worked on the 4K Confederations Cup trial broadcast last year, are providing the production platform. The total production represents a sizable investment for FIFA — the organization says it spent $150 million on TV production for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Unlike the 2010 event, this year's World Cup will not see the deployment of stereo 3D cameras. With the demise last year of ESPN 3D — which launched with coverage of the 2010 World Cup — 3D has become a non-starter for sports.
But the TV cameras won't be the only cameras set up around the stadium. For the first time this year, the World Cup is taking advantage of goal-line monitoring systems from Germany's GoalControl — 14 high-speed cameras located around the field, seven for each goal. They track the position of the ball in 3D space, transmitting each successful goal to watches worn by the officials on the pitch within one second. Watch the embedded video above for more on that technology.