A Blackmagic Qoncept serves well
JAPAN: Qoncept Inc made use of Blackmagic Design’s Micro Studio Camera 4K and Video Assist for TV-Tokyo Corporation’s coverage of the recent World Table Tennis Championship. The technology solutions provider combined the manufacturer’s products with its own in-house developed Qoncept AR Engine to produce in-broadcast features such as analysis of the speed of the ball in play.
‘We shot the table tennis tables during the game using two Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera 4Ks and Video Assists,’ recalled Qoncept’s CTO, Kenichi Hayashi, PhD. ‘The two cameras were in sync using Blackmagic’s Sync Generator and shot in stereo 3D. By analysing the stereo 3D footage we received in our OB van, we were able to capture the movement of the player’s ball in three dimension and in real-time.’
The tournament marked the first time that Qoncept had transmitted live and setup was reportedly simple, as the Video Assist and Micro Studio Camera 4K were connected and the feed sent to an SDI output in the OB van. ‘In the OB van, a Blackmagic DeckLink was used to capture footage from the Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera 4K,’ added Dr Hayashi. ‘By inserting two DeckLinks in to a PCI express to Thunderbolt enclosure, we could seamlessly capture the 1080p stereo signal.’
Taking place in Malaysia, the Qoncept team enjoyed the portability of the Blackmagic camera, as Dr Hayashi explained: ‘The smaller the equipment the better. We have previously used Blackmagic Studio Cameras, which were so compact and portable that I was able to carry them in a backpack. Now it’s even easier with the Micro Studio Camera 4K, which has greatly reduced our shipping and transportation costs.
‘We had to use batteries during the setup and adjusting,’ Dr Hayashi continued while on the subject of portability. ‘What was really impressive was that we could use the same battery for both Video Assist and the Micro Studio Camera 4K.’
In the sport of table tennis, the ball travels at an impressively rapid speed and Qoncept utilised its system to collect this data, as well as to note the specific area of the table that a player was attacking. This information was relayed to the commentary team, to enhance the descriptiveness of their remarks.
‘Because the speed of the ball was too fast, we set the shutter speed by checking Video Assist as a monitor,’ said Dr Hayashi. ‘Having the shutter speed set at 1,000 meant the footage was really dark. However, even with that constraint, the output of Blackmagic Design’s Micro Studio Camera 4K was 10-bit and we were able to image analyse using the difference of brightness. We used this technology for live production but I think it can also be utilised for applications such as the daily training of athletes.’