National Geographic’s The Living Body: DITM Featured in World’s First HDTV Broadcast of Surgical Procedure


I’ve mentioned the National Geographic Special “The Living Body” and wanted to fill you in on why this is such an exciting project for me.  The show follows a woman from birth through life and death and traces the function of all of her bodily systems.  It will feature my surgical laparoscopy footage as the world’s first broadcast of surgery in HDTV.  To produce this I used a protype laparoscopy system that visualizes the highest resolution images ever seen of the human body. If you watch this show you’ll see endoscopic images on your living room HDTV set better than almost any surgeon has seen in the OR! 

I became involved when I received a call from the NG people and ther production team out of London.  They had heard of my work in developing HDTV endoscopic surgery and that I had performed the world’s first HDTV laparoscopy back in 2000.  This show was being produced in HDTV for braodcast in HD on the National Geographic HD channel (then downconverted to standard definition-SD for traditional broadcast and DVDs).  They were looking for some HD footage of internal organs. 

The original HD projects I did back in 2000 used a prototype 4-chip HD from JVC camera modified from a microscope camera for use in laparoscopic surgery.  At that time we had to use a w-vhs recorder as this was the only way to record the 1080i signal in HD. 

I became very excited at the prospect of helping them with this project since I had been testing a new endoscopic system that was unique in having the world’s highest reolution ever as well as the ability to record in full lossless HD using a new type of blu-ray HD DVD based recording system.

I recorded a series of shots for them of all the internal pelvic and abdominal organs and am delighted it made the final edit of the show.  You’ll see an egg developing inside an ovarian follicle, the bowel, liver and gall bladder, fallopian tubes, cervix and uterus.

My next post will review the technolgy between the HDTV system I used and some images from it.

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