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Pioneer in 3D television

altThe first transmission of a live event in a three-dimensional way was possible thanks to the work of Jose Dias, an engineer who has already completed 40 years leading the digital processes of the Brazilian chain O Globo.

by: Vanesa Restrepo B.

While the world's attention turned to the garotas that danced at the Rio Carnival, during the first days of March, a man ran from one street to another of the Sambadrome and moved between mobile units of the O Globo chain while answering the phone, giving orders, monitoring screens and calculating angles.

That man, José Dias, is the engineer in charge of the most ambitious project that Brazil's main television network has undertaken in recent years: it is the first live broadcast, and in three-dimensional form, of brazil's main festival. In the middle of the corre runs of his work, and just on the day of the main parade, José spoke with TV Y VIDEO about this experience, his journey in the industry and his forecasts for the three-dimensional segment in the coming years.

According to engineer Dias, the purpose of making this live broadcast is to test the latest advances in 3D technology. "We invite Sony to participate in these tests using the latest in image processing to correct the disparity of the same digitally."
But this is not the first time that José embarks on a process of this magnitude, already in 2010 he was in charge of piloting the tests in the Carnival. At that time, special broadcasts were made in boxes with selected guests in some hotels in Rio.

- Publicidad -

José also led the team that was in charge of the 3D transmissions of some of the meetings of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, made in some cinemas through closed exhibitions.

On air
For several months José has only dealt with matters related to 3D technology, and with the greatest naturalness in the world he explains that the emission process consists of the use of cameras that capture separately what the right and left eye see. Each of these cameras, in turn, is composed of two teams whose images are supported by the work generated in traditional cameras with softened signal.

"During this transmission we used three stereoscopic cameras in computerized rigarized that correct the interocular distances of the cameras and the convergence of the same to obtain a correct three-dimensional image. We also use computers to optimize the disparity between the cameras," he says.

All this work will be seen in about 60 thousand televisions, which is the estimated number of HD3D devices marketed in the Brazilian market by the firms Panasonic, Sony, Samsung and LG. "A good part of these TV viewers will be happy with this first test of TV Globo in HD3D, because Carnival is a spectacular event for three-dimensional transmission."

Thus, the transmission will be delivered to about 600,000 subscribers of the cable company NET, which puts O Globo at an advantage over local competition and some of the main channels in Latin America, which are just exploring this technology.

"What the viewer will see on their TV will be similar to the feeling of looking through a window. That's what's called positive parallax, in which images have depth. Already the warnings, effects and others will appear in negative parallax, that is, leaving the screen; in this way we will be able to give greater emphasis to the commercial part," Dias said.

And they keep growing
The live and three-dimensional broadcast was announced to the country days before the Carnival began. Many local publications took it upon themselves to echo the news and brought Dias' patient statements to their front pages. The engineer explained several times, and in the simplest possible language, what the characteristics of the transmission were and why it represents a breakthrough for the country's television industry.

- Publicidad -

Meanwhile, he took care of converting channel 4's programming to 3D, installing state-of-the-art equipment, including the 3D cameras installed in the Sambadrome.

"Live events are ideal for these kinds of experiences because what's in front of the cameras happens in real time. Producing 3D in the studio is different, the cost increases by about 30% and production times also increase."

The future of the sector
The Rio Carnival in 3D is just the tip of an iceberg that aims to have a complete transmission of the 2014 World Cup in 3D: "HD3D broadcasting is already a reality, so our biggest challenge is the terrestrial transmission that will surely be solved before the Cup, "reports José Dias. The following tests will be held at Rock in Rio, in September.

But the prospects are not good only on the technical side. According to our Professional of the Month, recent studies indicate that the recall of the guideline issued in 3D went from 68% to 83%, while the purchase intention went from 49% to 83%. "Already with this research and the development of everything in its time, the most difficult thing is to convince people to participate in the innovation of the future."

Innovator by vocation
For more than 40 years, Días has been part of the O Globo team, where he entered by chance after studying statistics. "My first job was in the medical area of Elema-Schönander Siemens," he says, explaining that there he had to work on the dosimetry of cesium and cobalt pumps, elements that can be harmful to health.

It was precisely this fact that pushed him to set up his own laboratory at home, in which he created television repeaters. "That's how I entered the world of TV. Already in 1970, when TV Globo opened its headquarters in Recife, I was invited to participate in the assembly of the channel and since then I have developed countless equipment and processes that facilitate the creativity and training of the professionals of O Globo.

- Publicidad -

His work then is the development of cutting-edge technologies, work for which he relies on statistical tools, in order to develop tools, develop processes and support people who can enrich the audiovisual aesthetics of TV Globo.

"My job is the future. The future is now. Right now we are developing the technology of tomorrow."

Richard Santa, RAVT
Author: Richard Santa, RAVT
Periodista de la Universidad de Antioquia (2010), con experiencia en temas sobre tecnología y economía. Editor de las revistas TVyVideo+Radio y AVI Latinoamérica. Coordinador académico de TecnoTelevisión&Radio.

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