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- Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019
Sony Plays The Field In Minnesota
- ST. PAUL, Minn.
When Minnesota United Football Club moved into its new home at Allianz Field in St. Paul earlier this year, new cameras for the stadium’s large video wall presentation were on top of the list of must-haves. Resolution quality from the cameras had to reproduce well on the Daktronics 15mm HD board, concourse monitors and 2.5mm Daktronics LED display in the team’s premier Stadium Club. The goal, according to the team’s production engineer, Cole Mayer, is that soccer fans at the stadium see the same video quality or better than they would when watching at home.
The decision was made to purchase four Sony HXC-FB80 HD studio cameras (with HXCU-FB80 CCU units and RCP-1500 panels for remote camera control) and one PXW-X400 shoulder-mounted XDCAM camcorder. The HXC-FB80 is designed for 4K/HDR live production.
Equipped with three 2/3-inch Exmor CMOS sensors, the cameras capture full HD picture quality. With a sensitivity of F13 and a corresponding signal-to-noise ratio of just -60 dB, the cameras are ideal for low light reproduction. The PXW-X400 offers advanced picture quality and enhanced networking features with a built-in wireless module.
The Sony system cameras affixed with Canon lenses are placed in various positions throughout the stadium – one Sony HXC-FB80 with a Canon XJ80x lens underneath the large video wall and one Sony HXC-FB80 with the same Canon lens in a far corner of the stadium. The remaining -FB80s, equipped with Canon KJ20x8.2B lens, are placed in center and left field.
With a resolution of 2304x456 pixels, the large video display at the south side of the stadium required cameras with the resolution of the HXC-FB80 and PXW-400.
The infrastructure at the new Allianz Field is also wired for SMPTE fiber, so a camera that is plug and play in that environment is another must-have. “We use SMPTE fiber at the stadium for our connections, and the -FB80 has SMPTE fiber built right into the camera body, so it’s just plug and play,” explained Mayer. “It’s just one cable into the camera, and the camera control, viewfinder and the lens is powered up. It makes set up and tear down during game days a breeze.”
The Sony CCU units are integrated with the team’s RTS intercom system over SMPTE fiber connection so once plugged into the camera, the headsets are plug and play as well. “Side communication is never an issue,” said Mayer.