The ceremony to mark the canonization of Blesseds John XXIII and John Paul II will take place on 27 April in St Peter's Square, and will be broadcast in 4K Ultra HD using Sony PMW-F55 cameras in a studio set-up. This is another new and important opportunity to put the revolutionary characteristics of 4K to the test; not only in terms of production but also in terms of enriching archiving quality. The event will be produced by the Vatican Television Centre (CTV) in partnership with Sony and Sky Italia, and with technological support from DBW Communication and Eutelsat. The event will be broadcast live in 4K at the Paul VI Audience Hall in the Vatican. Thanks to our partner, Prevost Srl, there will be a live 3D broadcast of the event in Sotto il Monte Giovanni XXIII, the birthplace of Pope John XXIII, using a SRX-R515P projector. As a result of collaboration between Sony, Sky Italia and Eutelsat, spectators will be able to experience the moment in 3D and feel as if they were in St Peter's Square.
The decision to record such an important event in HD, 3D and 4K arose from CTV's desire to strengthen its position as a technology-oriented organisation; building on a reputation it has achieved through past successes in this area. The choice of technology was extremely important, as the quality of the footage will allow viewers to feel a part of the day and to emotionally connect with such an important event.
The 4K filming will take place in six locations in a studio set-up in St Peter's Square, using an advanced PMW-F55 camera system connected to a 4K-ready OB van. The position of the cameras and the choice of lenses were examined and chosen under the technical direction of CTV, who wanted to co-ordinate filming formats while thinking about integration between 4K and HD.
With its advanced Super 35 mm sensor and a resolution of up to 4096 x 2160 pixels (11.6 million pixels in total), the F55 offers the highest quality performances using film and television lenses. The viewer can see much more on-screen and the images are always in focus. This allows a greater exploration of detail, which, in turn, creates an unprecedented level of participation and involvement.
As well as the PMW-F55, the Sony MVS-8000X video switcher in 4K configuration, a 30-inch, professional PVM-X300 LCD 4K monitor system and the new PWS-4400 4K server will also be used. The production will take place with the support of DBW Communication, who will bring both creative experience and production expertise to this joint 4K venture. DBW Communication will also be providing an OB van, which will be upgraded for 4K for the ceremony. The signal will be transmitted via a Eutelsat satellite.
The SRX-R515P projector is a high-quality 4K digital cinema projection system that can create high contrast 8000:1 images by reducing leaked light, giving a more lifelike picture. Sony Digital Cinema 3D shows two images to both eyes simultaneously for a more realistic viewing experience. This solution will offer a highly realistic and extraordinary visual experience that will fully engage the audience at Sotto il Monte.
This production will be an important test case for the excellent opportunities that 4K has to offer and to evaluate its impact on the sector through a real production. It will also serve as a type of rehearsal for the major sporting event taking place this summer; the FIFATM 2014 World Cup final, which will take place on 13 June in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and will be filmed in Ultra HD (4K).
"The production of 4K content is a field that the Vatican Television Centre is very interested in, and we are focusing on the development of this new production technology. 4K is an excellent technological resource that helps us fulfil a significant part of our mission: to accurately document and preserve images of the Ministry of the Supreme Pontiff and the activities of the Holy See in high quality and for as long as possible", stated Monsignor Dario E. Viganò, Director General of the Vatican Television Centre.
David Bush, Head of Marketing for Sony Professional Solutions, Sony Europe. commented "Sony continues to redefine the frontiers of technology. This is the first time that these three levels of production are being used together in such an important event, so it is important to use the most technologically-advanced equipment to capture every detail. On this significant occasion, we are extremely pleased to be able to support the Vatican Television Centre, with whom we have already collaborated for many years in its pursuit of innovation".
"The company mission of DBW Communication is to produce audiovisual equipment and to provide services based on the use of the most advanced technology for cinema and television productions. We are delighted to bring our expertise to the table in this 'technological synod' that aims to produce an unprecedented event, both in terms of the cultural value and the advanced production and broadcasting systems for audiovisual content used", stated Stefano Rebechi, Sole Director of DBW Communication.
"Providing satellite coverage for such a historic event to test Ultra HD live broadcasting is an exceptional opportunity to work alongside partners who are sector leaders in 4K broadcasting. Eutelsat is a pioneer in the transmission of images at a definition four times that of HD, which reflects our ambition to explore new broadcasting frontiers. We are proud to offer our expertise and resources to prove the importance of co-operation in developing new video technologies", said Renato Farina, CEO of Eutelsat Italia.