MLB, in partnership with video technology company NTT, unveiled an “Ultra Reality Viewing” proof of concept during Game 3 of the ALDS in Tampa.
At Tropicana Field, NTT installed multiple 4K cameras that transmitted high definition images (12K wide) in real-time to a wide screen (90.6 inches x 469 inches) with 6-channel surround sound including ballpark sounds to a viewing area set up at MLB Network’s studio in Secaucus, New Jersey.
“This URV technology created a uniquely transformative sensation that put the remote viewer into the ballpark and its atmosphere live,” said NTT in a news release.
The PoC is one more step forward for a partnership that MLB and NTT announced in September.
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In Japan, NTT has used URV to show soccer games and Kabuki, the traditional Japanese theater. In the U.S., the company wants to use URV to re-create the experience of watching an MLB game for viewers.
"[URV] is a very new type, a new generation, of public viewing technology. Viewers can enjoy [games] as if they were in their stadiums," NTT CEO Jun Sawada said. "This is the type of technology solution we'll contribute to the extending of the fan experience -- especially for a new, younger generation of viewers. For the future with MLB, I would like to extend our partnership to other technology areas.”
"All of us at Major League Baseball could not be more excited about the three-year agreement that we've reached with NTT," said MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred in a statement. "We've worked very hard to make our sport available on platforms that are new, that are innovative, that reach a younger audience. We think that the partnership with NTT provides us with an opportunity to add an additional platform, and to reach more people."