ATP Media, the broadcast arm of the ATP World Tour carried out a live 4K v 1080p HDR test at the Nitto ATP Finals, the season ending finale held in November 2017 at The O2, London. The test was designed to see side-by-side, the two production formats in a live tennis environment, as part of ATP Media’s commitment to trialling the latest technologies to advance its broadcast offering.
The ATP Media and Gearhouse team were able to combine the Sapphire HEVC system seamlessly with the main production, with all the outputs coming from one desk and one Director’s cut. This allowed them to compare their existing 1080i output with 4K SDR, 4K HDR and 1080p HDR. ATP Media were therefore able to see exactly how the formats compare.
ATP Media are now engaging with their rights-holders to gather feedback on when they will be ready to broadcast in 4K or 1080p HDR.
The demonstration room at The O2 was also an opportunity for ATP Media to test Dolby Atmos and compare it to Dolby Digital 5.1. As a globally travelling OB with a big variety of Stadia, the test was designed to understand the challenges of producing in Atmos and to experiment with what a “Tennis Atmos Soundscape” could sound like.
Shane Warden, ATP Media’s Director of Broadcast & Technology said: “The test was an important step forward for ATP Media and the results showed that 1080p HDR could be a very attractive format for us in tennis that efficiently provides the huge benefits of HDR to our broadcasters and viewers. We’ll need to do further tests to include delivery, and dialogue with our broadcasters around the world will be important in our next steps.”
Dominic Gresset, ATP Media’s Executive Producer added: “4K might be the best option for a one-off football or cricket match, but covering an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event with up to four main televised courts has big implications when it comes to producing in 4K. As host broadcasters we have to find the right balance between creating the best possible product with realistic production and delivery budgets, along with the capabilities and requirements of our rights-holders.”