TV-BAY December 2012
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makes a large difference to how you interpret the film; but if done well, you shouldn’t notice it. It’s one part of the experience that’s enhancing all the other parts. 3D is often the same. Aside from the technical issues with 3D, is it worth independent production companies seeking to produce quality 3D content for broadcast by BSkyB in the future? Absolutely. My team and I work every day with independent production companies, often with their first foray into 3D and help them select the right kit and crew with varying levels of budget and turnaround schedules. We are a free resource to them in prep, production and post and can often make a very daunting experience into a real journey into what is possible in 3D. I actively encourage production companies and producers to test the boundaries of what is possible in 3D. Sky were the first to publish requirement standards for 3D programme makers under the title “BSkyB Technical Guidelines for Plano Stereoscopic (3D) Programme Content”. Has this been recognised by other organisations? Yes it has. We are known to have and uphold the most stringent 3D technical guidelines of any 3D Broadcaster or distributor. Being Europe’s first dedicated 3D channel, we believed from the start that we should set the bar high in terms of offering a high quality and therefore a better and more enjoyable experience for our customers. We firmly believe that upholding our guidelines and helping production companies to achieve these high standards provides our customers with an exceptional 3D experience. Our technical partners and equipment suppliers that we commonly work with often have producers The World over asking about our technical guidelines. Sky standards are largely considered the ‘Gold Standard’ in the industry. Even James Cameron had to agree to them when Avatar was broadcast by Sky in 2010. Sky 3D are in fact the only broadcaster in The World that was allowed to screen Avatar and James Cameron personally approved our 3D platform in being able to deliver an exceptionally high quality of 3D broadcast and he agreed to let us broadcast this to our customers. There are a number of parameters in 3D testing: which one is most frequent cause of QC rejection? It is very dependent on the project. Edge violations and depth budget violations are two, as are sync issues between left eye and right eye. Though we are finding that with more education of production companies and producers, better cameras and equipment these are becoming less and less common. In the past 2 years we have seen a huge improvement in the quality of 3D which we are receiving and people are become more aware of what makes a more comfortable and enjoyable experience for the viewer. How do you check for compliance to the Sky standards as a process of quality control (QC)? We have a combination of some very impressive hardware, software and experienced 3D QC operators based in house which scrutinise every show which is broadcast on Sky 3D. A QC report is then issued and we can discuss how to address any issues this raises and how best to resolve them. Some can be as simple as audio glitches, which occurred during layoff all the way down to eye mismatches and things, which exceed our guidelines on what we consider an acceptable quality. As I mentioned earlier though, these are becoming less and less frequent with the education TV-BAY MAGAZINE | 39 TV-BAY072DEC12.indd 39 07/12/2012 15:14