At The Ballpark: Brewers Follow Big Offseason Trades With Big HD Upgrade
In anticipation of the first pitch of the 2011 Major League Baseball season, SVG has provided an in-depth look at the video-system makeovers at ballparks around the country, including Citizens Bank Park, Fenway Park, Miller Park, Minute Maid Park, and Rangers Ballpark.
After a disappointing 77-85 campaign in 2010, the Milwaukee Brewers were among baseball’s most aggressive franchises in the offseason , engineering blockbuster trades for top-tier starters Zach Greinke and Shawn Marcum. The fresh start in 2011 will be accompanied by an $11 million video and audio renovation that added a massive new 1080p Daktronics video board, an HD-upgraded control room, an HD video coaching system, and an overhauled PA/audio system to Miller Park.
Roscor, which integrated the original SD video system when the stadium opened in 2001, served as the primary contractor on both the HD and audio upgrades.
“We have a local office in Milwaukee, and we’ve dealt with the Brewers for years,” says Tom Voigts, VP of sales for Roscor. “We did the original video integration as well as some updates over the years, but this was a complete rebuild. We’ve actually been talking with them for a couple of years on this, but they didn’t want to pull the trigger until now.”
At 5,940 sq. ft. (54 by 110 ft.), the HD Daktronics board is the fourth-largest in baseball, trailing only Kansas City, Arizona, and Houston. The display replaces a 1,290-sq.-ft. SD board in left field.
The Control Room
Powering the video board will be a revamped control room that runs on a Ross Video 4M/E Octane production switcher. The room also features a six-channel EVS replay system with Multicam, a Ross Video six-channel Soft Metal server, a six-channel Chyron LEX3 graphics system, a Click Effects Crossfire system, and an Evertz routing switcher with MADI audio and 12-output Evertz VPIX multiviewer, and a Reidel matrix intercom system.
“This was really a case where the control room was removed and constructed new — a complete rebuild of the facility,” says Roscor Project Engineer Mark Ure. “We took everything out with the exception of the tie-lines coming in from the broadcast-cabling infrastructure and installing everything new.”
In developing the control-room design, developed with WJHW VP Chris Williams, the Brewers made the six-channel graphics system a top priority.
“For the look that they wanted, they needed six channels of CG,” says Roscor Sports Venue Specialist John Proctor. “Most stadiums use four, so they have more graphics capacity than almost any other ballpark. Their scoreboard is very large, and they wanted more soft-programmable portions of the display than a lot of facilities do. This graphics system gives them that capability.”
The new system’s file-based workflow makes it easy for the Brewers video staff to exchange files directly between the EVS server and three Apple Final Cut Pro editing suites (two in the control room and one in the technical director’s office).
Says Proctor, “They are able to cut a segment together on the fly, spit it out to the EVS, and then put it right up on the scoreboard.”
The video system’s primary game cameras are four triax-based Sony HSC 300 cameras surrounding the diamond. In addition, one Sony HDC-X300 POV camera and two Canon BU-45H POV cameras have been integrated via fiber in locations throughout the stadium, including the interview room and at “Bernie’s Dugout” (where mascot Bernie Brewer slides down a yellow slide into a giant beer glass when the Brewers hit a home run). Miller Park’s Canon lens package includes 75x, 40x, and 18x lenses.
The Coaching System
Roscor also provided the Brewers with a new video coaching system that relies on a high-home POV camera to capture video for coaching analysis.
“There is a coaching system POV camera that is separate from the video-replay system, but it still comes through the replay control room, and, if they wanted to, they could bring it into the game-day production,” says Ure. “At this point, they are not doing that, but the capability is there.”
Odds and Ends at Miller Park
Roscor also oversaw the upgrade of Miller Park’s sound system, adding improved speakers and amplifiers that allow Brewers fans to hear crystal-clear PA announcements and music.
Although HD television sets were installed in luxury suites, the majority of the monitors throughout Miller Park’s concourse and public areas are still SD. However, Roscor did add a series of HD channels into the park’s in-house cable system, allowing for future HD expansion.