Next generation media technology applied to Gliding World Championships

OMARAMA, New Zealand (November 19, 207) – The FAI World GP Gliding Championship will feature some of the most technically advanced media coverage in the history of sports TV, streaming live around the world via the Internet with real time graphics, air-to-air footage and live commentary. World leader in computer graphics for television and big screen broadcast, Dunedin-based Animation Research Ltd (ARL), has developed custom-built units for tracking the gliders. This ‘next generation’ equipment will send GPS location signals via two networks (GPRS and satellite) to the hi-tech operations centre on the ground. The location data is then visualised through ARL’s 3D sporting graphics package, Virtual Eye, with the resulting life-like animations streamed live to the internet and used in television sports documentaries of the event.

As the viewer watches the race in progress, they will not only be able to see each glider’s path, speed and altitude but also benefit from live commentary, providing a fascinating insight into the tactics, decisions and consequences of each competitor. Anchor commentators Kirk Davies (NZE) and Ann Kathrin Kiehn (AUS) are joined by guest commentator British pilot and current women’s world gliding champion, Gill Spreckley.

Commentary and real-time graphics footage are available on each day of the championships. On finals day, 24 December, the Internet coverage steps up to full broadcast featuring in-cockpit mini-cams and air-to-air footage using the latest TV filming technologies, providing live global coverage as never seen before in the history of air sports.

“The New Zealand Gliding Grand Prix in January 2006 proved that gliding is as fast and exciting as Formula One,” said Peter Newport of Air Sports Ltd. “This year, we’re taking the spectator’s experiences to a new level and they will be astounded by the skill and split second decision making these pilots employ, all at speeds of in excess of 250kph. And it’ll be taking place right there on their computer screen, wherever they are in the world!”

Viewers can sign up to watch the World GP Gliding Championships through www.airsportslive.com  free of charge on the low resolution service or can pay a small cost (around NZ$10) to enjoy the coverage at full resolution with the ability to revisit and enjoy the highlights. Subscription discounts will apply to multi-day full resolution packages.

The FAI World GP Gliding Championships features 19 of the world’s top pilots, including world number one, Sebastian Kawa (POL), from 11 countries. The six days of intense, high speed competition will take place in Omarama, New Zealand from 19-24 December 2007. For further information, visit www.gpgliding.com.


Source: Event Management
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