Super Bowl LIV: Inside the Numbers
It will be the first Super Bowl production to use UHD/HDR
SVG is preparing to head down to Miami for Super Bowl LIV for four days of behind-the-scenes coverage. The Fox Sports PR team has begun offering details on this year’s broadcast, and below is a quick preview of a production that will make UHD/HDR history as the first Super Bowl to embrace those formats.
First, some by-the-numbers details:
Thirteen mobile units (11 of which are from Game Creek Video) in the Fox Sports are part of a broadcast compound that has nearly 10,000 sq. ft. of office space, and 15 temporary structures comprise an additional 19,000 sq. ft. of space. The entire event will make use of more than 34 miles of cable, and 3 MW of generators will be on hand to keep it all running.
The big question everyone asks every year is how many cameras? Fox Sports will deploy 70 manned and robotic cameras for the game, along with 30+ lock-off and POV units. In addition, there will be 20+ end-zone and end-line pylon cameras and a wireless line-to-gain camera following every first down from ground level. Also look for shots from two Skycams and seven wireless handhelds, including multiple Steadicams and multiple MōVI gimbal Steadicam digital cinema cameras.
Also, eight 4K and three 8K cameras (Sony UHC-8300’s used in their first NFL postseason game ever) will be in the mix. They will be used for zoom and replay functions: the 4K cameras at the high end zone and down the line, the 8K cameras exclusively on the sidelines and benches. Two of the 8K cameras will provide up to 12X zoom replays; the third will shoot the entire field. The 4K cameras will allow 6X zoom replays.
If you think a Super Bowl deserves a super amount of super-slow-motion cameras, this will be the Super Bowl for you. Fox is going to deploy 22 super-slo-mos around the field.
As for audio, 72 field mics will be used. and two submixes will be created.
Along with the super-slow-motion cameras will be a number of other specialty systems. On the ground, all corners will be covered by more than 20 cameras within the end-zone pylons and the traveling pylon, which sits on the first-down marker for every play on both sides of the field. In the air, Skycam is back with a twist: one on the field and the uniquely positioned high Skycam. The latter is attached to the iconic spires of Hard Rock Stadium, making it the first Skycam that actually flies above the roof of a stadium. In addition, a two-point Flycam will be outside the stadium to attract fans from outside to the Fox Sports Game Day Fan Plaza set inside the stadium.
The area of graphics and augmented reality (AR) also continues to grow when it comes to big games. New ways of delivering statistics is always on the to-do list, and Fox Sports is introducing a new information-graphics system that will focus on delivering the most relevant information on a consistent basis. This information will be coordinated with constant machine interaction between the Fox Box and insert platforms (Ventuz and Vizrt). Fox Sports says the aesthetic will be bold and concise while unveiling unique takes on motion, color theory, and player imagery. This new graphic presentation is an evolution aimed at presentations beyond typical sports-graphic formats.
Epic’s Unreal Engine, the gaming engine incorporated in the Fox Sports Virtual Studio in Charlotte, NC, will be deployed for multiple AR cameras in the stadium. Using SMT’s real-time camera tracking software, these graphics provide heightened resolution of graphics to be integrated seamlessly onto the field of play. These will be incorporated with several cameras, including goal-post robo-cams and the Skycam.
Fox Sports also will use AR on its South Beach set. Combining tracking data from Stype and a 50-ft. technocrane, Fox Sports supplements its productions with photorealistic AR graphics rendered via Unreal Engine.