MLB All-Star Wrap-Up: C360 Breaks Down Barriers at Low Home, With SkyCam
Having made its first MLB All-Star appearance in Miami last year, the team from C360 was back with Fox Sports at Nationals Park this week. Two C360 6K+ (25X HD) 60p camera systems provided 360-degree outputs: one at low home and one attached to the SkyCam system in left field.
“The big advantage of C360 vs. traditional cameras is, we can go back in time and point and shoot where a traditional camera or robo may have missed. And, since we captured the whole space, we can manipulate and reposition the replay within that space,” says C360 co-founder/Chairman Evan Wimer. “That means you can tell the story a little bit differently. For example, if everybody was focused on the runner coming down third base but they really weren’t looking at the position where the catcher was positioned, we can make that happen. You’re really gaining a lot of information that traditional cameras may have missed.”
At All-Star, Fox had the ability to integrate the low-home PTZ position live into the telecast, as well as for replays with full stop-action and zoom capabilities.
“Our digital software allows us to pan, tilt, and zoom in that space and give some added views that Fox probably wouldn’t have with a traditional robo,” says C360 co-founder/CEO Joe Tomko. “Through our replay [interface], the operator can use a joystick to go back and forth in the replay and then pan, tilt, and zoom anywhere within the frame. Our dewarping algorithms and the uniqueness of the software have allowed us to create our own internal solution for replay, and we can just feed the replay [to Fox] like a traditional EVS system.”
In addition, the SkyCam system provided an immersive live stream to a YouTube 4K channel delivered to an offsite Fox VIP event. This stream allowed the viewer to virtually navigate the entire field with a touchscreen tablet. In addition, the experience integrated Fox Sports’ linear video feed and ticker above the field in the virtual ballpark.
The C360 system continues to evolve, having just added 60p capability. So do the applications it can be used for. For example, a C360 system was used courtside at the NBA Summer League this month in an effort to replace the mid-court handheld that has largely disappeared from live telecast because of increased courtside seating.
“We’re looking at providing the value in positions that other cameras don’t typically fit well,” says Tomko, “and also providing kind of that front-row seat with the streaming position where fans have access they would typically not have in a normal setting.”
For more of SVG’s on-site coverage from Washington D.C., visit the SportsTechLive Blog: On Site at MLB All-Star 2018.