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NAB Perspectives: IMT’s Payne on Integrating Wireless POV Into Sports Broadcasts

April 13th, 2015 Posted in Headlines By Karen Hogan

Answering the demand for a small, self-contained, ruggedized camera transmitter and battery to capture live-action POV, Integrated Microwave Technologies has unveiled its Nucomm Dropcam at NAB 2015.

“It’s really [intended] to provide POV support — maybe not [for] the main camera that’s doing coverage on an event but [as] an accessory that you can mount in different places around a venue as extra shots,” says IMT CTO John Payne IV. “It might be a body-worn application [such as] parachute jumpers, where they’ll come out of an airplane and come down into a sports venue and they provide video off the parachute guys coming in … [or] maybe an end zone, catching an interesting perspective.”

Dropcam, on display at Booth N3922, enables POV capture from unique locations, such as a football end zone or a parachute jump.

Dropcam, on display at Booth N3922, enables POV capture from unique locations, such as a football end zone or a parachute jump.

With an integrated battery enabling three hours of unattended transmission, the Dropcam camera transmitter can provide a unique vantage point — like from an end-zone or behind-the-plate location — supplementing the main broadcast without requiring an extra camera operator. In addition to sports events, IMT lists reality television and hidden-camera applications as potential applications.

According to IMT, the Dropcam comes standard with an HD-SDI adapter module and enables small, remotely mounted HD cameras to be interfaced directly to the Dropcam without additional batteries. Additional modules are available, including an integrated swivel camera HD module, which combines a low-light camera with a high-dynamic-range microphone. Operators can manually rotate the swivel camera head 180 degrees. The Dropcam also features an assortment of removable sensor modules, depending on the specific application and needs.

IMT's microLite has been used on Fox Sports’ drone coverage of motorsports events.

IMT’s microLite has been used on Fox Sports’ drone coverage of motorsports events.

Also at the booth, IMT is showing its RF Central microLite wireless camera HD links. Developed for the new generation of HD-SDI–capable compact cameras, microLite has been specially designed to address current domestic and international broadcasting-band requirements within a single unit. All microLite HD links are available in licensed 2 GHz- and license-free 5.8 GHz-frequency versions. The 2 GHz model covers from 1.9 GHz to 2.5 GHz and delivers up to 200 mW; the 5.8 GHz unit has a robust 100-mW RF output.

IMT’s microLite was recently used in Fox Sports’ motorsports coverage. Mounted to the top of a drone, it enabled capture of a unique aerial perspective of the track and follow the riders as they competed. The drone, along with footage of the event, is on display at Booth N3922.

Payne lists the small form factor and price point as factors that make microLite attractive to sports broadcasters, particularly for smaller-scale productions. “It might [enable] colleges — maybe not at the high-end professional sports teams but maybe a level down — to be able to do wireless camera events or even broadcast to local cable channels and things like that using a wireless camera,” he says. “It’s not only reserved for the professional sports to be able to do wireless video within stadiums, but, when using the microLite, you really can bring that down to the college and high school [levels].”