Live From NAB 2017: Clemson, Fox Sports South Embrace Panasonic Cameras
Panasonic announced a couple of sports-related deals at its NAB 2017 press event: both Clemson University and Fox Sports South have tapped camera systems from the company.
Clemson University is refreshing its fleet of production cameras with AK-HC5000 4X high-speed 1080p camera systems. Already equipped with two HC5000s, the Clemson University Athletics Department will take incremental delivery of additional cameras, all in full studio configuration.
Clemson University has been a long-time believer in Panasonic cameras and, according to Assistant Athletic Director/Video and Technology Rick Bagby, the investment in the HC5000s to cover live sporting events is a linchpin of Clemson’s ramp-up for the debut of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) linear television network in 2019.
“When I tested out the HC5000 on campus after NAB2016, I did not have high expectations for the 240fps capability, but I have to say, it’s fantastic,” says Bagby. “Set-up is extremely easy—it looks great and it works great.”
The fast, high-resolution HC5000, capable of high-speed output up to 1080/239.76p, incorporates new 2/3” 2.2M 3-CMOS sensors with high sensitivity (F11/2000lx), low noise (S/N 60dB+), and resolution measured at 1100 TV lines. The HC5000’s system components include the AK-UCU500 CCU, which provides power up to 6,600 feet over standard SMPTE fiber along with IP streaming video feature; the AK-HRP1000 Remote Operation Panel, featuring PoE+ power and PTZ camera control capabilities; and AK-HVF100 9-inch, Full-HD LCD viewfinder. Each of Clemson’s HC5000s will be fully configured with these components.
“The other outstanding asset is the camera’s ability to send/receive audio, which really facilitates live interviews,” he adds.
Until the ACC Network launch, Bagby will continue to produce live sports coverage for digital channel ACC Network Extra with the HC5000s. The cameras are available to cover events in eight campus athletic facilities. Bagby shoots 1080p, and live video is transmitted back to a central production studio via single mode fiber.
And Panasonic technology plays a key role at SunTrust Park, the newly opened home for the Atlanta Braves. Fox Sports South is ready with new Panasonic 4K and HD camera systems to cover beauty shots throughout SunTrust Park, the team’s new stadium. These strategically-positioned cameras are the AK-UB300 4K box camera, the ultra-rugged AW-HR140 outdoor PTZ and AW-HE130 integrated PTZ.
Fox Sports South Senior Vice President and General Manager Jeff Genthner suggested adding beauty shot cameras throughout The Battery Atlanta after visiting Ballpark Village outside of Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
“Adding these cameras to Atlanta Braves telecasts on Fox Sports South is an opportunity for us to provide fans with a unique perspective of the new ballpark and surrounding entertainment and retail district,” says Fox Sports South Chief Engineer Christopher Benton. “We decided on a three-camera Panasonic system because of the variety and flexibility in available hardware options, as well as the ease with which it could all be integrated and controlled.”
Benton says Fox Sports South required an outdoor PTZ camera to mount on the roof of One Ballpark Center, an office building located just outside of right field. This camera has a unique vantage point of the inside of the ballpark, the Braves LIVE! set and other areas of The Battery Atlanta.
“It would need to capture superior quality images and also have a very large, image-stabilized lens,” says Benton. “Our selection was the UB300 multi-purpose 4K capable box camera paired with a Fujinon HA42x13.5BERD super telephoto lens mounted in the AW-PH650 outdoor housing.”
The next requirement was an all-in-one, broadcast quality, outdoor PTZ camera mounted on a rooftop with a view of the Battery Plaza where FOX Sports South’s Braves LIVE! set is located.
“We chose the AW-HR140 to accomplish this task because of camera image quality and lens stabilization, as well as the housing’s capability to withstand severe weather,” he adds. “And once this camera goes into production this summer we plan to add two more to this system to cover the bullpen areas.”
Lastly, Fox Sports South wanted a lightweight, broadcast-quality PTZ with excellent image quality to serve as the FOX Sports South in-game booth camera. It would be mounted on a heavy-duty, articulating arm that can be extended outside of the booth and retracted when necessary. The AW-HE130 was the camera of choice.
“FOX Sports South will use this robotic camera system during our pre/post-game shows, as well as during the game. In addition to Braves’ telecasts, we plan to use these cameras from our studio for other productions,” explains Benton. “Our engineering team has designed the system to be controlled from the studio and we will be able to utilize live images from these cameras when necessary.”