Vatican to broadcast Papal content in high definition, maybe 3D

A new $6 million project unveiled by the Vatican will help transmit high-definition material online, as the Pope looks to keep up at the forefront of technology.

Using the Internet and new HD video technology may help Pope Benedict XVI better connect with modern audiences and followers.

As part of the mobile video project, the Vatican is also interested in exploring 3D technology, which wasn’t on the radar just a year ago.

Sony Italy and the Knights of Columbus (a Catholic group based in the US) both contributed to the HD broadcasting project. Even with Sony’s involvement to broadcast HD and 3D, the new broadcasts are designed to show HD content with increased audience involvement and added color.

Sony offered around $1.36 million in discounts for the project, with the Knights of Columbus also contributing the same amount.

The remaining money will be paid by Centro Televisivo Vaticano, the Vatican’s official TV branch, with money to be paid back over the next few years. CTV currently broadcasts about 200 live events each year, with coverage in Vatican City, across Italy, and throughout Europe.

“This van represents the most recent development in the long history of the Catholic Church’s work in mass communications, and the Knights of Columbus is privileged to have a role in bringing the Good News of Christ to the world through the medium of television,” said Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight, in a statement.

This may seem surprising, but the Vatican has been quick to embrace technology in the Web 2.0 world. Ideally, along with being able to better communicate with the world, priets, care workers, and others will be able to quickly and easily share information.

Earlier in the year, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli read a message from the Pope regarding the Vatican embracing the digital world. Expect the Vatican to continue embracing technology in a changing world with more people going mobile and staying connected online.