Sportvision's Busy Weekend

It was a busy weekend for Sportvision as ESPN-HD's baseball coverage took its first swing with a new HD version of KZone and virtual advertising technology and ABC Sports rolled out the company's StroMotion system for the 2003 World Figure Skating Championship.

Marv White, Sportvision executive vice president, says the StroMotion technology may eventually be used for other sports, like basketball, but for now it primarily will be a tool for covering ice skating. The system grabs single frames of a skater during a jump and can then place them side by side so viewers see what happens in a triple Lutz.

"With ice skating it works particularly well because as the ice skater moves you pan the camera in a pretty smooth motion," says White. "The StroMotion system has two outputs. One is the panoramic output, with the skater pictured at various positions as if a strobelight had gone off. The other output is a pan and scan of roughly the same camera motions but with the skater stopped in mid-air."

Sportvision also was involved with ESPN-HD's inaugural baseball telecast, providing an HD version of its KZone system (which places an image of the strike zone in the picture) as well as HD virtual advertising technology (which puts virtual billboards in stadiums, usually behind the plate). White says the HD capabilities were possible due to advances like HD video cards for the PCs that drive the system.