Dallas Stars Heat Up Scoreboard Ops With Sony XDCAM

The Dallas Stars Hockey Club added a new look to its promotional and in-arena video content for this season, producing a range of material with Sony’s XDCAM HD422 Professional Disc system.

The team’s video production department is using the XDCAM HD PDW-700 camcorder and PDW-HD1500 deck to capture and produce content for on-air broadcast, scoreboard playback, web streaming and more.

“These are the main EFP cameras for all our video needs during the season,” says Chandler Merritt, director of marketing operations for the Stars. “The file-based workflow has been such a significant enhancement in terms of moving data around more easily, using FTP servers, for example, instead of dealing with physical assets. We can get content shot, edited, produced and output much faster and in higher quality.”

For each Stars game, at home or on the road, the XDCAM camcorders are used to shoot promotional segments that air on TV during the period intermissions. Video spots are also created for the team web site, consisting of interviews with players, coaches and Stars executives, as well as highlight clips and news from around the NHL.

During home games, the XDCAM HD camcorders roam the arena and feed crowd shots to the scoreboard. The Stars have even produced promotional spots for their sponsors, which also run on the board during breaks in the action.

“Our top priority was to find an HD solution that was cost effective and worked on all of our platforms,” adds Jason Walsh, assistant vice president of broadcasting and creative marketing. “We merged all three of our video departments – broadcast, in-arena presentation and website – so that our XDCAM content could be shared and distributed to as much of our fan base as possible.”

He added that the XDCAM system’s ability to function seamlessly between the HD and SD worlds was ideal for mixing archive footage with newly shot content. Also, the decks’ size and weight were the ideal choice for traveling and taking the optical capabilities to road games.

“I can take a deck into a professional TV environment and capture video in beautiful 1080 HD, take it to my house or hotel room, or wherever I need to view it and play it on my TV via an RCA cable or drag and drop files from deck to server if need be,” said Walsh. “To me, that’s the exact definition of versatility. Versatility is what any producer in this field needs the most at this pivotal time in television history.”

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