Efficiency, Safety Spur Panasonic Purchases for College Sports Video
Panasonic continues to a be a major player in college sports video, and with a new football season has come a swarm of new purchases for the technology giant.
For production of coach’s video and analysis, Panasonic bolstered its relationships with two top college football programs, Baylor and Michigan State. Baylor football purchased several AG-AC160A AVCCAM HD camcorders, and Michigan State football acquired two AW-HE50S Full HD pan/tilt/zoom cameras and an AW-HE870 remote HD camera with AW-RP655 remote controls.
“We’ve been using Panasonic gear for coaching video many years,” says Michael “Jumbo” Bolding, director of video services for the Baylor football program. “Our most recent investment, the AC160As, represents an attractive combination of cost-effectiveness with ease of use. Our student staffers have easily come up to speed shooting on them.”
For more than a decade, Baylor has used Panasonic gear, including P2 HD handhelds (the AG-HVX200A and AG-HPX170), P2 HD shoulder-mounts (the AG-HPX500 and AG-HPX300), and AW-HE870 remote HD cameras with AW-RP655 remote controls.
According to Bolding, the Baylor video team uses five to seven cameras to shoot a practice. HPX500 and HPX300 are deployed on the sidelines, recording to AG-HMR10 handheld AVCCAM HD recorder/players. The AC160As — two of which are positioned on towers — capture tighter shots in the end zones.
Baylor uses XOS Digital Thunder football HD for video editing and game planning, which works seamlessly with the Panasonic equipment. The HE870s are incorporated as the pan/tilt/zoom cameras in the XOS Thunder capture system, which allows video coordinators to control multiple cameras from a remote location while capturing HD video.
The XOS Digital Thunder system is a cloud-based system that allows Bolding and his team to get more practice and analysis videos into the hands of coaches and players more efficiently through use on iPads.
“Eventually, the cloud is the way everybody is going to be going,” says Bolding. “You can store so much, and the cost is coming down so that everyone can afford it. File system is going to be the way it’s done, and everyone is going to be working on a tablet or other type of device.”
At Michigan State, safety was a major component in the purchase of the HE870, which is mounted on a 40-ft. pole next to the Spartans’ outdoor turf practice field. The AW-RP655 controller — which is on a cart with a monitor — is wheeled outside and plugged in at the bottom of the pole. This allows the Spartans’ video crew to shoot safely in most weather conditions.
University athletic departments and technology developers have responded swiftly in improving safety measures following the 2010 death of Notre Dame football videographer Declan Sullivan, who was killed when the video tower he was shooting from collapsed during a windy football practice.
“I was tasked with finding a way we can practice outside when it’s windy,” says Matt Harper, director of technology for Michigan State Football. “So we added the pole camera last year, and, this year, we added a tower so we can be out there when it’s windy. With the accidents that have happened, we had to take a look at our policy, and we found there were quite a few times where we ended up having to be inside just because of the wind. Now we don’t have to worry about that.”
During offense and defense practices on the two outdoor fields, the HPX370/HPX300 cameras are used with HMR10s to shoot video from the sidelines and end zones.
At the team’s indoor facility, a set of HE50Ss are mounted to the corner of the ceiling and the walls in the indoor practice facility, one on each 40-yard line to get a sideline angle of the action on the field.
“We were never able to get a sideline angle in our indoor facility because it is so tight,” says Harper. “We couldn’t get a lift in there.”
Michigan State also uses XOS Digital’s Thunder Football HD for video editing and game planning.