KitPlus - The TV-Bay Magazine

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DAY IN THE LIFE RF & MOBILE CAMERA TECHNOLOGY Tony Valentino Technical Director of Broadcast Sports BSI. It’s the intimate views and unusual angles that make the difference to the viewers’ enjoyment of any event, and specialist RF cameras can turn a Director’s vision into a production that’s as gripping as being at the game - or almost. The Aviva Rugby Premiership Final at Twickenham was not just a high profile 4k event, it was a multi-camera event using a selection of specialist RF cameras – making it a showcase for the latest RF and mobile camera technology. The main cameras were Sony HDC-2500 and PMW-F55 4k, but as there are no mini 4k cameras to match these, BSI used their own specialist RF cameras for certain extreme shots and original angles, and the Real Freedom roaming cameras to send 1080p50 feeds direct to the mixer where they were up-scaled directly to 4k. Referee’s Point of View The Ref-Cam brings the viewers closer into the game and gives more of an on-pitch experience. It can get closer than a Steadicam rig, and as it always follows the match from the referee’s point of view, it captures important shots which even viewers in the stadium may not always be able to see. THE REF-CAM BRINGS THE VIEWERS CLOSER INTO THE GAME To work successfully, it has to capture the referee’s view of the game without ever getting in the way. BSI’s Ref-Cam is a fully featured professional miniature point of view camera with remote Iris control, and full paint control including master black, detail, RGB colours and saturation. This means that the camera parameters can be finally adjusted, and the image can be matched to the other cameras as light conditions change. The BSI dual stream mini RF link uses the latest MPEG-4 encoding 66 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 115 JULY 2016 and supports two live HD feeds together with camera data. Modulation, RF power levels, and other critical transmitter parameters are all controlled remotely, which means there’s never any need to delay the game just to adjust the referee’s camera. Flip-flop shots While the Ref-Cam was developed for Rugby, it makes a great difference in other situations. For example, it was used in dual stream mode with two live cameras to get the “flip-flop” shot of the dogs running through tunnels at Crufts – as it could capture both the front and back of the tunnels and flip between the two, as used track side in motor racing applications. Camera ‘Roll’ enables perfect capture of the line-out throw BSI has developed a unique camera to capture the line-out throw. It’s a completely wirelessly operated camera mounted on a pole, which they have named the “Line-Out” camera. As you would expect, it has Pan, Tilt, Zoom and Focus, but an important difference is that it has a “Roll” feature as well, so that the pole operator doesn’t have to worry about whether the camera is level – the shot will always be useable. It is in regular use for rugby, for getting the top shots of the line-out throw following the flight of the ball.