For the first time in their history, the Commonwealth Games (CWG) will be produced in high definition (HDTV) - a format that offers stunningly real picture quality and theatre-like sound quality.
"It will provide a unique experience and set new standards for the Games to come," Aruna Sharma, director general of Doordarshan, told IANS in an interview. "The IBC (International Broadcasting Centre) is ready. Finetuning and light correction is being executed," she said.
Differing with those who feel that India should not have hosted a show like the Commonwealth Games, Sharma said more such events should be held as they set the drill and have a trigger effect on the economy within the country."Holding such events improves organisational ability and provides an opportunity to re-look at redundant systems," she said.
The IBC, located in Pragati Maidan, will be the nerve centre of broadcasting activities. The right-holding broadcasters, who have been provided nearly one-third space within IBC, can customise the basic feed provided to them by host broadcaster Prasar Bharti and send their signals either through satellite uplinking service or international fibre service.
Doordarshan will telecast the Games in both high definition and standard definition format.
A new channel - DD HD - will telecast the event in high definition format while DD Sports will provide round-the-clock transmission on standard format. DD National, DD Urdu and DD Bharti, DD News and regional channels will also telecast Games-related events. Doordarshan will also produce 30-minute highlights every day, focussing on the performance of Indian athletes.
The showpiece event will be covered by over 350 cameras. Helicopters will be used for opening and closing ceremonies and a few road events while underwater cameras have been installed for aquatic events.
Interviews of athletes, cultural events and side stories of the games will be covered by 25 mobile camera units.
Cameras have also been installed at landmarks like Qutub Minar, Connaught Place, Red Fort, India Gate and Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to add visual content to the telecast. DD has tied up with a British entity, SIS Live, for production and coverage of the Games.
Apart from being the technical hub of Doordarshan, the IBC will provide facilities like linear and non-linear edit suites. It will also have space for putting up dish antennas.
About Rs.366 crore ($81 million) is being spent on production, coverage and telecast of Games. Doordarshan will share the revenue earned during the Games with the organising committee - the broadcaster will get 30 percent of the revenue earned by the committee through international telecast rights.
IBC will have a round-the-clock office for gathering and distributing all broadcast related information.Doordarshan has added something extra to its logo as well. It will now have a robotic frame complete with an antenna, camera eyes and speaker-like ears.
Colour TV transmission in India started Aug 15, 1982, about three months before the Asian Games. Coinciding with the games, the government had announced a new gift scheme to facilitate import of colour TVs and given permission to a few companies to manufacture colour TV sets.
Aruna Sharma said the Commonwealth Games will mark a shift towards programming in high definition and television sets coming to the market will be increasingly compatible with the format.
"While a few thousand people in the country watched the 1982 games on colour TV, a few lakhs will watch the Commonwealth Games on high definition. It makes a terrific difference to viewing, specially sports," she said.