Tech fits World Cup action to cell phone screen

Among the list of technology “firsts” at the World Cup soccer tournament under way in Germany is the use of a system that can format play action to fit on mobile phone displays in an engaging way.

For the first time at the global sports event, near-live video clips for mobile phones are being produced with a technology known as “pan and scan,” initially developed to adapt screen films to the smaller TV format, according to Brian Elliott, head of international broadcast operations at Host Broadcast Services AG (HBS).

It works like this: production editors select a core action, whether it’s a stunning goal, a precise pass or a bruising tackle, and use pan-and-scan technology to zoom in and produce a clip that is exciting and relevant for small screens.

Adding to the experience is picture quality. Because the originating feed in the HDTV (high-definition television) digital format ensures that every part of the 16:9 formatted picture is of high quality, any selections of that picture are guaranteed to equally clear.

The edited clip, typically four minutes in length, is encoded and stored on the central file server of the International Broadcast Center, operated by HBS on behalf of the F

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