MASN goes HD for Washington Nats

By Andrew Lippe

The Washington Nationals will open the season in a new
stadium, Nationals Park but it will also usher in a new era in Nationals
broadcasting as Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) makes the jump to HD. MASN,
also home of the Baltimore Orioles, also broadcasts the Birds in HD but the
addition of the Nats will drive the number of HD games it broadcasts to 80.
All games will be broadcast in 1080i and the new games are the result of a new
ballpark that is HD friendly.

“A new ballpark can have the necessary cabling
installed,” says Jonathan Solomon, MASN chief engineer. “The downside
is that the cables haven’t been used in a few months so we’ll need to check

MASN, ESPN and FOX all made sure cables were installed in
the right places throughout the ballpark and they also ensured there is enough
power capability and parking for mobile trucks. On any given day the stadium
could have as many seven HD trucks in for a production so making sure there was
ample space was a priority.

MASN will use five NCP HD trucks this season for HD coverage
of both the Orioles and Nationals. The trucks include NCP IV, V, VII, VIII, and
X and the trucks are equipped with either Ikegami cameras (found in IV, V,
VIII) or Thomson Grass Valley HD (found in VII, X) cameras.

Games for both teams will be shot with eight HD cameras.
Solomon notes that with HD it’s not about shooting different but paying more
attention to details. “The new ballpark with create an opportunity from
some beautiful beauty shots,” he adds.

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