First local broadcast station to produce program in 4K
WRAL-TV was first to broadcast a digital signal in high definition in 1996, first to produce a newscast completely in HD in 2000, and now is the first local broadcast station to produce a program in 4K Ultra High Definition, commonly referred to as “4K.” With technical support from Sony Electronics, WRAL’s local documentary production unit has just completed “Take Me Out to the Bulls Game,” an up-close and personal look at one of the top Triple-A baseball teams in America, the Durham Bulls.
Jim Goodmon, President and CEO of Capitol Broadcasting, the owner of WRAL and the Bulls, once again challenged his team to be the first. “We believe 4K is the next major development for broadcasters to enhance the viewing experience for our audience,” Goodmon said. “The simple truth is, the only way to learn what we don’t know and be able to design the transition is to just do it.”
WRAL-TV Director of Engineering and Operations, Peter Sockett and Station Manager, Jim Rothschild accepted the challenge, and in a matter of weeks had assembled a team of leading experts on the technology to assist the station’s award-winning documentary unit with shooting, editing and post-producing the program. Thanks to a collaboration with Sony Electronics and Fujinon, the station was able to shoot with Sony F55 4K cameras and Fujinon prime lenses. Producer Clay Johnson and photographer/editor Jay Jennings led a group of WRAL production personnel capturing everything that happens behind-the-scenes and on-the-field on a Durham Bulls game day.
Steven D. Hammel, WRAL-TV Vice President and General Manager says, “I am very proud of our team for taking on this extraordinary project with speed, quality and professionalism, overcoming challenges along the way to bring beautiful 4K images to life.”
The stunning images and rare glimpse into the inner workings of the organization make up “Take Me Out to the Bulls Game.” The first public viewing of the program was this week at Durham Bulls Athletic Park during events surrounding the Triple-A Home Run Derby. More showings will take place during the All-Star Game at the ballpark on Wednesday, July 16.
The U.S. premiere was live tweeted: http://bit.ly/WRALdoc4k
4K Ultra High Definition images have dramatically increased resolution versus high definition video, and its more natural color and contrast seem closer to how the human eye sees the world. Sam Matheny, former Vice President of Policy and Innovation for Capitol Broadcasting, and new Executive Vice President and Chief Technical Officer for the National Association of Broadcasters, views 4K as the future of broadcast television. “One of the great promises of the new ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard is support of 4K UHD,” Matheny said. “WRAL’s work on this documentary gives the industry early insight into the next generation of broadcasting, and the stunning pictures and improved storytelling it will bring.”
Follow @WRALdoc on twitter and hashtag #WRALdoc4K for more information.
Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Debbie Tullos for this capcom story & to WRAL-TV’s Shelly Leslie for these capcom photos.