News

CBS, DirecTV Got Their Game On In 3D At Tennis’ U.S. Open

9/06/2010 4:10 AM Eastern

Flushing, N.Y. — CBS and
DirecTV were set to play 3D
doubles this Labor Day weekend
at tennis’ U.S. Open, with a little
sponsorship and technical assistance
from Panasonic.

At a press conference in the
main players interview room
(graced by large photos of Jimmy
Connors, now an analyst for
Tennis Channel, Chris Evert and
the ubiquitous John McEnroe)
under Arthur Ashe Stadium last
week, Panasonic executives talked
about the expanding 3D world,
including a new partnership with
Bexel that will increase
the pool of professional
3D equipment.
Bexel now has six 3D
camera rigs equipped
with Panasonic cameras
for rent.

In addition to pitching
3D camcorders
and home-theater systems,
the executives
talked up a “3D Innovation
Center” Panasonic
will open this
fall at its U.S. headquarters
in Secaucus,
N.J., where, working with other
members of the product and
content communities, they will
look to establish best practices
that can “optimize workflow, reduce
costs and enhance business
outcomes” in the burgeoning 3D
“ecosystem.”

Eisuke Tsuyuzaki, chief technology
officer of Panasonic Corp.
of North America, said Panasonic’s
3D technology is now being
used on a weekly basis to shoot
new productions for DirecTV’s
n3D channel, a point verified by
DirecTV senior vice president
Steven Roberts.

Tsuyuzaki also introduced CBS
Sports executive vice president of
engineering, operations and production
services Ken Aagard, as
“the James Cameron of sports.”

That prompted Aagaard, who
will be leading CBS’s 3D production
efforts from the Open, including
the final weekend of the Grand
Slam tournament, to quip: “Thank
you Eisuke. The James Cameron of
HD 3D … Now, I can tell my wife
we can get a bigger house.”

Aagaard also talked up the importance
of the opportunities for
the TV sports community in general
and CBS — which presented
last year’s NCAA Men’s Basketbal
Final Four in 3D to select movie
theaters — in particular to continue
to experiment with different
competitions in the format.

He pointed out that previous
3D telecasts emanated from
larger venues than the relatively
“confined area” at center court in
Arthur Ashe Stadium, where CBS
and PACE will be shooting the enhanced
tennis telecasts.

At the Open event last Wednesday,
attendees got to check out Avatar
and other 3D content, including
shots from around the grounds at
the National Tennis Center in Panasonic’s
3D Experience room, adjoining
Louis Armstrong Stadium.
Come the weekend, Panasonic
plasmas therein were set to serve
DirecTV n3D images of the Open.

Meadowlands
Has an Acre of
High-Definition

Feeling the need to totally immerse
yourself in HD? Head over
to the New Meadowlands Stadium
— the $1.6 billion home to
the National Football League’s
New York Giants and Jets
— which, by The Wire’s calculations,
has more than an acre of
high-def screens.

In each of the 82,500-seat
stadium’s corners are four 118-
by-30-foot HD video-display
boards. Circling the interior is a 4-
by-1810-foot “ribbon board.” The
East Rutherford, N.J., venue also
will be outfi tted with more than 2,200 HD
video displays throughout the stadium, as
well as 20 HD “video pylons” ranging in size
from 20-by-40 feet to 20-by-60 feet. That all
easily adds up to more than an acre (43,560
square feet), with the total depending on
how big the 2,200 individual displays are.

“When fans enter New Meadowlands,
they are going to feel like they’re stepping
into the future,” New York Giants president
and CEO John Mara said in a statement.

Either that or they’ll get temporarily
blinded.

Daktronics supplied the four large scoreboards,
the ribbon board and the pylons;
Sony supplied the HD monitors and integrated
the stadium’s video-replay room.
Verizon, an official sponsor of New Meadowlands
Stadium and provider of telecommunications
services, teamed with Cisco
Systems
to bring 34 channels into the stadium
(29 of them in HD), letting visitors in
the luxury suites scan ESPN HD, TNT HD, YES
Network HD, SNY HD, CNN HD, NFL Network
HD and NFL Red Zone HD … and, if the kids
are getting restless, Nickelodeon HD and
Cartoon Network HD.

CNN’s Cooper
Helps PEJ Quiz
Retain Readers

Which sector of the national news media
devoted the largest share of its news hole
to covering that newsy hole at the bottom
of the Gulf of Mexico that spewed out millions
of barrels of crude oil over the spring
and summer?

Hint: it wasn’t the broadcast-network
newscasts.

That is just one of the questions in a Project
for Excellence in Journalism
online
quiz billed as a “test of your knowledge of
how the media covered the disaster in the
Gulf.” It is based on PEJ’s content analysis of
almost 3,000 stories between April 20, when
the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded,
and the July 28 implosion of BP CEO Tony
Hayward
(he resigned that day).

One question strayed rather far from testing
our knowledge of the coverage: “CNN’s
Anderson Cooper, who reported extensively
from the Gulf region during the oil
spill, wasn’t always a cable news journalist.
Which of these jobs has Cooper previously
held?”

Options: Game show host, fashion
model, ABC news anchor or all of the
above. Without revealing the answer, The
Wire notes the question seemed a dead
giveaway that the
quiz’s sensibility
went beyond
how the media
covered the story
to how they
could keep folks
clicking on more
questions. (It was
question number
two.)

It worked: We
kept on clicking
to more serious
questions, like
which cable network provided the most
coverage.

“The quiz is a way to extend knowledge
about both the gulf coverage and
the media generally,” PEJ director Tom
Rosenstiel
said. PEJ’s news index is a valuable
tool in monitoring major media coverage
trends.

“Certainly there is no shot intended at
Cooper or desire to take anything away
from his coverage or commitment to that
story,” he said. “We hoped that mixing
facts about people in the media with findings
about coverage is another way to get
people to pursue more knowledge about
the press.”

Take the quiz yourself at http://features.journalism.org/quiz/the-media-quiz/.

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