India, March 28, 2022: Disney Star, the official broadcaster for Tata IPL 2022, announced a host of technological innovations for the current season. The innovations include an association with Dolby to provide a truly remarkable experience with the immersive sound of Dolby Atmos to fans, a unique online voting, and polling platform which will make the game more interactive between the commentators and the fans, enhanced analytics in the commentary box, mixed reality analysis, a Behind the Scenes (BTS) technology venture, the famous Cricko, and much more. These new technologies which have been adopted across the Star Sports network and Disney+ Hotstar, have been spearheaded by Disney Star’s R&D arm – Star Lab which develops innovation in emerging technologies.
With the return of fans to the stadiums, the introduction of Dolby Atmos will bring the electric atmosphere of Tata IPL games to the homes of viewers. Cricket fans in India will be able to watch their favourite sporting event, Tata IPL 2022, in Dolby Atmos only on Star Sports1 HD & Star Sports1 Hindi HD. With an immersive experience like no other in Dolby Atmos, viewers will experience multidimensional sound with incredible clarity that allows them to hear details never heard before during the live sporting action.
Sanjog Gupta, Head – Sports, Disney Star said, “Disney Star has been committed to elevating the experience of Tata IPL, bringing millions of viewers closer to the game, the heroes, and the action. With fans being allowed in the stadium, we wanted viewers to get as close to the real feel of the atmosphere at the venues and this is why we decided to produce the Tata IPL 2022 in Dolby Atmos for the first time. The Star Lab has also enhanced the presentation of the tournament by deploying AR & VR across match coverage and programming initiatives. We will also experiment with the world’s first interactive cricket show in the metaverse, in our ambition of making this the most interactive and immersive season of Tata IPL.”
Details on the other innovations:
Online voting and polling platform through Megaphone: For TV audiences the demand for interactivity, expression, and community is increasing exponentially. In a first-of-its-kind experience for a league of the stature of IPL on TV and Digital, Star Sports is introducing a new online voting and polling platform. It will deliver a live and interactive experience that will allow viewers to shape the editorial discourse during shows and build a connection between the opinions of Star Sports’ experts and audiences. Star Sports is excited at the potential to tap into the wisdom and passion of fans and take engagement to the next level.
Mixed reality analysis: Star Sports will be taking their mixed reality analysis to the next level in the 15th edition of the IPL, with presenters being able to visualize and interact with data-driven Hawkeye graphics using an MR headset, a first in the world of sports broadcast and proprietary technology developed in-house by Star Lab.
Enhanced analytics: This season, commentary will get yet another upgrade with enhanced analytics in the commentary box wherein commentators will be teleported from the ground to the studios.
BTS tech venture: A new ‘Behind the Scenes’ tech venture this IPL will be the implementation of cloud production. Cloud workflows and distributed production models have been accelerated by the global chip shortage, but ultimately it is the future of production with numerous benefits for broadcasters and down the line, audiences. Eliminating hardware and geographical location dependencies means more resources can be deployed into creating quality content and storytelling and collaboration is accelerated which will result in benefits to the environment by reducing carbon emissions.
Other enhancements include ball-by-ball fielding analysis linked to live on-ground player tracking, enabled within digital twins of stadiums as well as 3D player avatars, virtual multi-screen telestration, and a bespoke virtual studio environment that leverages a stereoscopic talent positional tracking system to create the magical illusion that the graphics are real, 3D physical objects.
Disney Star will continue to leverage the power of the unreal gaming engine to create virtual studios and augmented reality graphics. This season, the sky is quite literally the limit for on-ground AR graphics which will be enabled on drone cameras flying high above the stadium.
The popular robot statisstant Cricko will return, armed with a huge database of IPL facts and figures to ensure analysts are equipped with the most up-to-date and in-depth statistics to share with audiences.