Virtual reality is the tech world’s hot trend this year and France Télévisions is bringing it into the limelight at the French Open. The RG Lab at Roland-Garros will feature 360° live match broadcasts in 4K, an avatar creation booth and Web3D technology.
For the first time this year – and the first time ever at the French Open – France Télévisions, in partnership with the French Tennis Federation, will offer 360° live broadcasts in 4K of all the matches played on Philippe Chatrier, Suzanne Lenglen and No.1 Court. French start-up VideoStitch will also introduce its Orah 4i Live Spherical VR Camera, which was just revealed at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. FireKast, another French start-up, will handle the digital processing for all operations on the cloud, another technological first.
The RG360 virtual reality app, created by FireKast and available for free on iOS, Android and Samsung Gear VR, will let fans view live or replayed matches in full immersion 360° 4K.
To make the content available to everyone, France Télévisions will also be trying out new functions on the YouTube Live 360 player on the French channel francetvsport. The 360° replays will be available through francetvsport’s YouTube and Facebook offer. France Télévisions, which is exploring all virtual reality possibilities, has also teamed up with the French start-up Stikke to offer a brand new experience through a 3D full body scan booth. Visitors will be able to create their own digital avatars, which will then be transported to a virtual tennis court. To demonstrate other uses, France Télévisions will present a Web3D platform with realistic avatars for a new interactive and immersive media experience.
In partnership with CEA Tech, France Télévisions will also be putting on a range of demonstrations on virtual reality, artificial intelligence and augmented reality (via holographs).
For the fourth straight year, the French Tennis Federation and France Télévisions will be offering a special event channel for the men’s and women’s singles semi-finals and finals matches, as well as the men’s, women’s and mixed doubles finals. TDF will broadcast these matches in Ultra HD (4K) on DTT (on channel 81 in the Paris metropolitan area) and by satellite for the rest of France (Fransat package channel 444).
Live 4K television broadcast tests using high-dynamic-range (HDR) technology will be performed for the first time in France. This HDR technology makes images more realistic without overexposing very bright areas (the sun, sky, clouds, etc.) or losingdetails in dark areas (shadows, sunset, backlighting, etc.). Finally, UHD images will be broadcast to Canadian spectators on the TSN channel.
* Ultra High Definition, sometimes called 4K, quadruples the number of pixels compared to normal HD television.