Forget letterbox, cinematic or ultra-wide. Those resolutions all fall short of the TV you’d need to display the output from an eye-stretching prototype video camera from Panasonic.
The electronic giant is using a combination of four high-definition lenses to capture a 160-degree field of vision. The picture quality produced is at 720p, and the cameras move simultaneously to pan and tilt.
TVs used to have an aspect ratio of 4:3; then along came the wider 16:9. This camera would up the ante to 64:9.
To put that into perspective, LG, Philips and Vizio’s top-of-the line ultra-wide displays offer a 21:9 ratio.
Panasonic says the system will be priced at half the cost of other options for panoramic capture.
The unit divides its panoramic picture into four quadrants, with each camera capturing the action of one quadrant. Before the final picture can be realized, a computer stitches the four parts together to produce one video feed.
The as-yet unnamed camera system is just a prototype for now, but might find a market in sports broadcasting. Entire football fields and courts could be viewed in full detail. Right now the system is on tour and currently being showcased at Sydney’s Integrate 2013 electronics show. The next challenge: finding a TV wide enough to show it off.