New York’s Metropolitan Opera is providing live narrowcasts of performances to participating digital cinemas in the United States and Europe.
“The Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD” began in December 2006 and has been viewed by digital cinema audiences in the United States, as well as Britain, Canada, Germany, Japan, Norway and Sweden. The HD opera productions are transmitted to participating digital cinemas and projected in HD with 5.1 channels of surround sound onto big screens.
The critical HD format conversion is being handled by a FOR-A FRC-7000 HD frame rate converter, which can convert between 1080/59.94i and 1080/50i, and between 720/59.94p and 720/50p HD frame rates in real time by leveraging FOR-A’s vector motion compensation algorithms. These algorithms compare the motion in a group of frames with the frames that follow before performing the conversion.
At NAB2007, FOR-A added advanced scene cut detection and roll/crawl text detection, as well as optional support for different frame rates including: 23/98psf, 23.98p, 24psf, 24p, 30p, 30psf, 29.97psf, 29p, 25p and 25psf.
All Mobile Video has purchased two FRC-7000 units for use in transmitting the Metropolitan Opera performances — one situated at the Met in an uplink truck and one at its Gateway Teleport in Carteret, NJ. Fourteen Sony HDC 950/1500/1000 HD cameras capture the operas in 1080/29.97i.
The primary U.S. distributor of “Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD” is National CineMedia network, a joint venture of AMC, Cinemark and Regal Entertainment Group, which includes Regal Cinemas, United Artists and Edwards. Among the foreign distributors that receive the transmission via satellite is a theater in Tromso, Norway, north of the Arctic Circle.
Since the first HD presentation, the number of tickets sold at participating digital cinemas has been steadily increasing with every performance.
In digital cinema showings of feature films, frame rate conversion is not necessary because 24fps is the universal worldwide standard. Frame rate conversion is necessary, however, for digital cinema applications that involve live international transmission of performing arts, sports or other special events.
For more information, visit www.for-a.com./products/frc7000/frc7000.html.