New Products

Sphere Entertainment Opens Sphere Studios, Releases Big Sky Camera Specs

This new theatrical exhibition system employs proprietary technology, tools and production facilities.

ASC Staff

Sphere Entertainment Co. — whose massive LED-display system will soon be accessible to the public at the Sphere in Las Vegas, with plans for additional venues in other locations — has announced the launch of Sphere Studios, dedicated to developing original immersive entertainment exclusively for Sphere through proprietary technology, tools and production facilities. One of the studio’s immersive innovations includes Big Sky, an ultra-high-resolution camera system.

The immense wide-angle optic with the 8Kx18K Big Sky camera.

Sphere Studios is home to a team of creative, production, technology and software experts, who provide in-house creative and production services, including strategy and concept, capture, postproduction, and show production. The studio is bringing together leading filmmakers, directors and producers to create multi-sensory live entertainment experiences that immerse audiences visually, as well as through sound, haptics and environmental elements including heat, wind and scent.

The studio campus in Burbank spans 68,000 square feet of development facilities; production, editing and postproduction suites; sound stages for mixing spatial audio; and camera and 3D printing labs. The campus includes Big Dome, a 28,000-square-foot, 100-foot-high custom geodesic dome with a quarter-sized version of the LED screen at Sphere in Las Vegas.

Illustration of a presentation at the Sphere in Las Vegas.

The Big Sky camera system features a 316-megapixel, 3"x3" HDR image sensor. The camera can capture content up to 120 fps at the “18K square format” (18Kx18K), for delivery to the Sphere’s 16Kx16K display. The camera’s media recorder can absorb full-resolution, 60 fps, uncompressed raw footage at 30 gigabytes/second, or 120 fps at 50 gigabytes/second to its custom 32 terabyte media magazines. The media recorder is capable of handling 600 Gigabits/second of network connectivity, as well as built-in media duplication, to accelerate and simplify on-set and postproduction workflows. SphereLab, an internally developed image-processing software, was created specifically for Big Sky, and uses GPU accelerated RAW processing.

The Sphere in Las Vegas is scheduled to open in September of this year, with a seated capacity of 17,600. The dome structure is 366' tall and 516' wide. U2 will begin a performance residency there on Sept 29.

AC will feature additional coverage on this new system in a future issue.

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