Aerial Video Systems Brings RF HD To Oscars
Since the NFL Raiders left town in 1994, the Academy Awards have become the closest thing Los Angeles has to contact sport. With that in mind, the Academy asked Aerial Video Systems (AVS) to bring its innovative technology to capture the competitive world of the 81st Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood on February 22.
AVS provided six HD microwave system packages. Two systems covered the play-by-play of the Red Carpet ceremonies and four systems captured the thrill of victory and agony of defeat inside the Kodak Theatre. This was the first time HD RF cameras had been used inside the Kodak Theatre for the production of the Academy Awards. With a new seating arrangement and a faster-paced production format, the HD RF camera systems provided the mobility necessary to bring television viewers up close and personal. The untethered cameras performed flawlessly throughout the venue and brought unique, never-before-seen angles to the Academy Awards Show.
The Red Carpet ceremonies required two HD RF steadicams. AVS coupled its Link HD 1500 microwave systems, operating at 2.3 GHz, to two Thomson LDK-6000 World Cams with Canon HJ11X4.7 wide-angle lenses and Viper short backs. AVS also used its 5.8 GHz Digi-Snap system for the RF prompter feeds.
For the main show inside the Kodak Theatre, AVS joined two of its Link 1500 7 GHz microwave systems and two 1.4 GHz systems to the Denali-provided Sony HDC-1500 cameras. Two of the cameras were dedicated to steadicam rigs and the other two were hand-held. AVS provided return video, prompter systems, and full camera control via the Denali’s stock CCUs. To significantly improve transmission quality, AVS coordinated frequencies to accommodate 20 MHz of bandwidth for each of the four RF paths.
AVS utilized their proprietary RF-Over-Fiber systems to transport all RF signals to and from the Red Carpet and the theater. This method enabled the receivers to be located at the side of each of the mobile units which simplified AVS’s integration into the production.
“While we didn’t go home with an Oscar, our systems and crew turned in a solid gold performance,” says AVS’s Director of Engineering, Geoff How.