MLB demos ‘Ultra Reality Viewing’ experience during ALDS

In Japan, NTT has used URV to show soccer games and Kabuki, the traditional Japanese theater. (NTT)

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."

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