Sony Bringing 4K to the World Cup: The logistics of filming

by on July 2, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – July 2nd, 2014

Despite the fact that 4K TV is probably one of the biggest buzzwords going around right now in the display technology marketplace, the fact sadly remains that real, fully resolved native 4K content is still very rare indeed.

However, companies like Netflix, the BBC and Sony are working to change that. In Sony’s case it’s being done by filming parts of the World Cup tournaments in native 4K content with some very awesome production cameras and packaging it for widespread public release a bit later in the year. Their efforts are, incidentally, very logical, considering that Sony is also one of the biggest manufacturers on the market of 4K TV screens and 4K shooting cameras.

Since major sportscasts such as the FIFA Cup are some of the best forums in which to showcase a new technology, Sony has decided to invest a moderate fortune in being the technical supplier and even production leader at the 2’14 FIFA World Cup in Brazil this year.

While they will be filming the entire Cup in regular HD, three of the games, including the final match, are earmarked for filming in special UHD 4K cameras and will then be packaged up into streaming presentations for the enjoyment of anyone who actually has one of the 4K TVs or even 4K projectors you need to view UHD content with.

Let’s cover some of the details of Sony’s 4K FIFA plan.

Setting Up the 4K Filming

In addition to the over 200 HD cameras and 280 technical staff members involved in doing the conventional filming of the entire FIFA World Cup, Sony will also be using an additional several 4K professional production cameras and their own dedicated staff to fully film and produce the recordings of three World Cup matches, according to David Bush, Sony’s head of business development and marketing.

The filming is being done with approximately 10 different camera positions for each game and should cover every possible angle and fast paced movement in crystal clear Ultra high definition crispness like nothing World Cup fans have ever seen before given that commercially available 4K Display technology didn’t exist at the last World Cup in 2010.

The games shot will be one of the early games of the first knock out round that starts on June 28th, after that a quarter-final match will be filmed and finally, the one everyone is really looking forward to, the 2014 World Cup Final match.

Unfortunately, fans who want to enjoy the beautiful 4K quality of thee live matches can only do so after the fact, when Sony releases its Official 2014 FIFA World Cup Film in native filmed 4K or when the footage is delivered to certain online streaming services that offer 4K (Netflix) but only later in the year.

This is really quite disappointing but at least the beauty of high intensity sportscasts filmed in native 4K will get its turn in the sun soon enough.


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