News Production & Post

HDNet sports CamPac2 RF system

17 May 2011

US sports and entertainment broadcaster, HDNet, has acquired a Nucomm wireless camera system for use on its Arena Football League coverage, writes Adrian Pennington.

Nucomm’s CamPac2 (CP2) and Newscaster DR2 system operates in the 5.8GHz band, as well as 6.4GHz and 7.1GHz bands without the need of any hardware changes.

“It gives fancam operators the ability to go anywhere in the stand, the concourse or even into the middle of an on-pitch huddle [discussion between teams during offence/defence plays] because where our competitors only offer 2Ghz – a problem because it’s illegal to operate in that bandwidth – we offer licence free operation in the 5.8Ghz frequency,” said Nucomm’s Anthony Sangiovanni, vice president, sports and entertainment.

“The four antenna diversity system will let HDNet create zones allowing for increased coverage and, as any camera operator will tell you, having superior quality coverage in a stadium is a major necessity.”

HDNet will also use the CP2 on a Steadicam when covering concerts, and it is considering using the wireless equipment in conjunction with point-of-view cameras.

“Whether it is roaming the pits of an auto race, sideline coverage of a football game or handheld shooting for concerts, the desire to purchase a wireless camera system became evident to us last year when the RF solution that we rented left us unsatisfied,” explained Jeff Carman, technical producer and flyaway engineer, HDNet. “We chose the Nucomm gear because it significantly outperformed its competitor during a test of the two systems and has continued to perform above our expectations.”

The New York Yankees (baseball), NY Giants (NFL) and Pittsburgh Penguins (hockey) teams also have the RF product.

“We’re hoping to introduce an MPEG4 encoder around IBC time,” added Sangiovanni. “While MPEG4 technology has been around for a while it’s still not fully matured, and getting a low latency encoder which performs the same as MPEG2 is not an easier thing, but we have something in the works.”

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