MLB Game Recorded with Ikegami 8K Cameras

A baseball game between Major League Baseball’s Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees on July 17 was the first MLB game recorded in 8K and 22.2-multi-channel audio. Six Ikegami 8K cameras were deployed at Yankee Stadium by Japanese public broadcasting station NHK .

The game was displayed in a VIP suite. The Yankee game follows a successful use of Ikegami 8K cameras at the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 and at Wimbledon earlier this summer.

Ikegami introduced the first 8K UHDTV camera with NHK in 2002. The fourth generation, introduced in April this year, the SHK-810 8K is the first hand-held 8K ultra HD camera system. It employs a single 33 million-pixel Super 35 CMOS sensor, achieving 4,000TVL horizontal and vertical resolution. The SHK-810 is 90 percent smaller in size and weight compared with the original camera, and operability has been significantly improved.

“We have done a lot of shows now, so everyone is getting better. And this is a great chance for us to promote 8K in New York,” says Hiroyuki Nishizawa, director general, engineering/executive chief engineer, NHK Cosmomedia America. “The MLB style of play is different from Japan so it is a great opportunity to test. Afterwards, we will evaluate how we captured the game and the players and how we can improve with additional cameras and audio.”

At the match, For-A FT-One super slo-mos and a Sony F65 camera shooting 4K but upconverted to 8K via an Astrodesign converter were also used. The frame rate was 60p.

Other key kit included a 16-input 8K NEC switcher, 4K monitor upconverted to 8K, and 2K graphics upconverted to 8K for the score graphics. A Panasonic P2 solid-state AVC-Intra recorder with 16 P2 cards recorded the content for post.

The 22.2-multi-channel SHV surround sound attempts to create a fully immersive experience by isolating the audio into discrete layers: a top layer (nine channels), a middle layer (10 channels), a bottom layer (three channels), and a two-channel LFE (low-frequency effects) layer.

NHK says it will have two more 8K SHV scanners by end of the year with the intention of producing more events both in Japan and globally. Other events ticked in for 8K production test include the Rio Olympics (broadcast back to Japan by satellite) and Super Bowl 50 at the San Francisco 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium in February.

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