Ericsson Helps Drive Aussie 3DTV Trial

Transmission vendor Ericsson announced Wednesday that its compression technology is being used by Nine Network Australia to support live over-the-air 3D broadcasts of rugby matches in Australia. The coverage of the Harvey Norman State of Origin rugby league tournament, which began today (May 26) with a match between the Queensland Maroons and New South Wales Blues from ANZ Stadium, is being billed as the world’s sporting event to be broadcast live in 3D through terrestrial digital TV transmission technology.

“The Harvey Norman State of Origin Series is one of the biggest tournaments in Australia’s sporting calendar and we’re delighted to pioneer 3D sports broadcasting on free-to-air television and provide our viewers with the best seat in the house,” said Charles Sevior, network manager broadcast technology, Nine Network Australia, in a statement. “Bringing 3D to terrestrial television presents obvious challenges in terms of available bandwidth, so we were pleased to be able to draw upon the knowledge and expertise of the Ericsson team to deliver this revolutionary coverage using the latest H.264 MPEG-4 encoding to rugby league fans throughout the country.”

The remaining two rugby matches will take place on June 16th and July 7th. Nine has deployed an Ericsson system which includes the EN8190, Ericsson’s latest HD encoder, as well as Ericsson RX8200 receivers, the MX8400 multiplexer and nCompass Control software.

“3D innovation has fast become a reality for consumers, but this is the first sports broadcast of its kind anywhere in the world on terrestrial television,” added Staffan Pehrson, head of solution area TV, business unit multimedia, Ericsson. “Having pioneered technology for the HDTV market, Ericsson is now providing the solutions required by innovative broadcasters like Channel Nine to bring ground-breaking 3D broadcasts to consumers. We are pleased to be playing a key role in making this world first a success for the Nine Network.”