Rice University Athletics Purchases New Panasonic 4K Camera Systems as Linchpin of Football Stadium Technology Upgrade
AW-HE130 PTZs Slated for High End-Zone Capture
As part of a multi-million dollar upgrade of its historic Rice Stadium (home of Super Bowl VIII), Rice University in Houston, Texas (USA) Athletics has recently purchased four of Panasonic’s new AK-UC3000 4K camera systems, as well as AW-HE130 integrated pan/tilt/zoom cameras for high end-zone coverage.
According to Ryan Bucher, Rice’s Associate Athletics Director for Facilities and Management, “The UC3000s are state-of-the art production cameras that will give us much higher-quality video to feed our new LED 1080p board, as well as to push out content via social media platforms and to ESPN3 and other broadcast partners. The new cameras will definitely enhance the game-day experience for our fans.”
Bo Hoover, President of Technical Services Group (Baton Rouge, LA), the integrator on the project, added, “In making our camera choice, the initial top criterion was uncompressed long-distance transmission over SMPTE fiber, an ESPN3 design spec. But once we made the decision to invest in 4K now, the UC3000 won out not only on the basis of that capability, but also its attractive price point and 4K/HD image production.”
The UC3000 has a large, full-UHD resolution single MOS sensor that (with the UCU500) outputs a UHD signal up to 3840/2160/60p, while also delivering superior picture quality in HD. The camera’s B4 mount accommodates the gamut of existing 2/3-type lenses to maximize customers’ return on their investment in existing lenses, and allows a wider and more economical choice of glass for sports, concerts and similar applications. The UC3000 also enables shooting with high sensitivity (F10/2000lx), low noise (S/N 60dB+), high resolution (1800 TV lines/UHD) and a wide dynamic range of 600% (-6dB～36dB).
“The HE130 cameras were really a driver on the project because of their seamless integration with UC3000s,” Hoover said. “The PTZs’ common interface with AK-HRP1000 Remote Operation Panel will allow simultaneous shading of all the cameras on the field, which is a real advantage.”
In terms of camera locations, three of the UC3000s will be situated in an upper deck looking down, with the fourth placed on the field. The HE130s will be used for high end-zone coverage, as well as by Rice football’s video production department to capture coaching video. The facility and technology upgrade is slated to be completed by September 1, 2016, in advance of the Rice Owls’ first home game vs. Baylor on September 17.
“We really like the fact that the UC3000 camera body can be used, with the same functionality, in a fixed position or handheld,” Bucher said. “We anticipate fairly rapidly broadening the implementation of the UC3000s to basketball, baseball and volleyball.”
“And in terms of future plans, the all-important 4K capability of the UC3000 will let us expand as technology expands,” he added.