BBC Confirm Super Hi-Vision UHDTV For London 2012 Olympics

Mike Wheatley

The BBC has this week confirmed plans for the public trials of its exciting new “Super Hi-Vision TV” technology, in which they will screen coverage of the London 2012 Olympics at select broadcasting venues in the UK. The technology has been developed alongside the Japanese national public broadcaster NHK, and is said to display a picture quality that is equivalent to UHDTV (ultra high-definition television), or 16 times higher than the resolution of regular HDTV.

BBC London 2012 Olympics
BBC confirm Super Hi-Vision UHDTV for London 2012 Olympics

Super Hi-Vision is set to be aired for slightly longer than the length of the “Games Period” – starting on the 23rd of July, two days before the first event, and finishing up with the closing ceremony on the 12th of August. The Beeb has named three venues for the trial; the BBC broadcasting house in London, the National media Museum in Bradford, and BBC Pacific Quay in Glasgow. Ticket sales will be handled by the relevant venue managers.

Japanese audiences will also get a chance to view the top quality London 2012 clips. NHK are set to show the games on two big screens in Tokyo and Fukushima, while viewers in the USA can also catch a glimpse of the action in Washington, DC.

BBC and NHK revealed that the special public viewing theatres which will be used to display the Games are currently under construction. Once finished, they will feature screens capable of supporting Super Hi-Vision’s mega 7680 X 4320 format, as well as speaker rigs that can provide 22.2 multichannel audio. Coverage of the games is set to include the Opening and Closing ceremonies, as well as the men’s 100m final event at the Olympic Stadium, plus sporting action from the Aquatic Centre, Basketball Arena, and the Velodrome.

Tim Plyming, project executive for BBC’s digital services, claimed that Super Hi-Vision has the potential to make the viewers feel “as if they are actually watching the event in real life.”

Commenting on the BBC’s blog, Plyming continued: “We’re going to use a brand-new Super Hi-Vision camera and microphone, which will be deployed alongside a specially adapted broadcast truck outside. All of this equipment has been shipped in from Japan, where we worked together to build it. Meanwhile, at the BBC television Centre R & D test studio, a team of experts from our Research and Development Department is currently working alongside technicians from NHK to create the first Olympic Super Hi-Vision production studio.”

The Olympic Games is a fitting venue for the testing of the BBC’s new Super Hi-Vision technology –the broadcaster has a long tradition of trialling new technologies at the event. Most readers are probably too young to remember, but the BBC was the first broadcaster to offer live coverage of the Olympic Games last time they were held in London, back in 1948. In addition, the 1968 edition of the Olympic Games, held in the USA, was the first major sporting event to be transmitted live in full colour. One more first took place at the 1984 Olympics, when the British public service broadcaster experimented with high-definition cameras for the first time.

London 2012 will be the first major sporting event in the world to be captured in Super Hi-Vision, using the only equipment of its kind in the world.

Source: BBC Internet Blog