More than 100 Sony professional cameras – 4K and HD — will cover the field for this weekend’s broadcast of professional football’s championship game.
FOX Sports will use six Sony 4K cameras (five F55s and one F65) to capture ultra-high resolution images for its “Super Zoom” technology, giving television viewers a crisp, clear look at close plays.
Game Creek Video will provide FOX five trailers for main game coverage, as well as five trailers for pre- and post-game, using Sony’s high-definition HDC-1500 and HDC-2500 cameras stationed throughout the stadium. Game Creek will also stage two mobile units for NFL Network and ESPN for pre- and post-game coverage at the stadium.
NEP Broadcasting will use Sony HDC-2500 and HDC-1500 cameras for international and halftime coverage.
FOX Sports will position the Sony 4K cameras down each sideline and in each end zone, with another high, wide position to capture overall field shots.
“It’s all about the clarity of the replay and giving viewers the best possible look at a play, and that’s what we can do with these cameras,” said Jerry Steinberg, senior vice president, technical operations, of FOX Sports. “Since we’re starting with such a high-resolution image, we can zoom in multiple times on a shot and still get a completely clear picture with zero pixel degradation. You see everything in extreme detail, in fact with an extra amount of detail you wouldn’t see in a traditional replay.”
FOX first started using Sony 4K for Super Zoom in 2012, with one F65 camera at its weekly NFL on FOX broadcasts. This weekend’s game is the first major event to deploy multiple 4K cameras for Super Zoom.
The Sony 4K camera signals are sent over fiber to the game production truck and put through Sony’s BPU-4000 baseband processor unit, allowing FOX Sports to do multiple cut-outs and zooms of 4K images and extract sharp HD images with no pixel degradation.
“We’re starting with a much bigger canvas, with so much more flexibility in 4K,” said Steinberg. “Our cut-outs and zooms give viewers a completely clear image.”
The Sony cameras and BPU-4000 unit combine with Sony’s CA-4000 camera control unit to create an intuitive system that’s also very familiar.
“With this easy-to-use combination of technologies, an operator can electronically zoom in on an image many times to provide a conclusive image for replays,” said John Studdert, vice president of strategic sales at Sony Electronics. “This system’s operation is very similar to HD cameras. For example, operators can shade the 4K camera the same way they would an HD camera.”
This is the ninth consecutive year that Sony cameras are covering the NFL’s big game. Sony has been a leader in 4K technology from the beginning, starting with the 2005 introduction into movie theaters of its commercial 4K projector. Sony’s F65, F55 and F5 cameras are actively in use shooting feature films, TV shows, documentaries, commercials, videos, sports and more. In addition to its 4K Ultra High Definition TVs (84-, 65-, and 55-inch sets), Sony also offers Video Unlimited 4K, the world’s first 4K download service, a 4K consumer media player, a 4K home projector, and a full line of 4K-capable home entertainment products like Blu-ray players and receivers.