U.S. hosted first-ever NBA game broadcast using surround video technology
The world’s first NBA game between the Brooklyn Nets and Dallas Mavericks was broadcast using Canon Free-Viewpoint Video surround video technology, commonly used to create video clips. The game was broadcast by the popular American cable sports channel ESPN.
A total of 110 cameras around the basketball court were used to create the surround video, allowing each player’s actions to be tracked at any given moment. After that, the data is combined online with 3D models of each player. As a result, due to the “surroundings” of the virtual cameras, viewers can watch the game from any angle.
The observed effect is impressive even with some glitches and artifacts. For example, the video does not show the arena as clearly as the basketball sports simulator produced by Visual Consepts 2K22. However, the volumetric dynamics of the players’ movements more than compensate for any fuzziness, which almost “erases” the difference between the regular and virtual broadcasts.