Buffalo BIlls Add Ikegami HD Cameras at Ralph Wilson Stadium
At Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the Buffalo Bills, two new Ikegami HDK-55 full digital HDTV cameras have been added for in-stadium video production.
The Bills selected the HDK-55, part of Ikegami’s versatile new Unicam HD series, to produce imagery for in-game video, weekly programs, and a live post-game show. Whether their video is being displayed on the 73,967-capacity venue’s 80-foot x 35-foot Diamond Vision Screen, via the in-stadium TV system, or on viewers’ home screens throughout New York State and Canada, the HDK-55s give Buffalo Bills fans a crystal-clear view of their team.
“The imagery that our Ikegami HDK-55 cameras produce is outstanding,” says Stephen Asposto, Video Production Director/Engineer for the Buffalo Bills. “I can’t stress enough the high quality of the picture that they produce. Conditions during an NFL game will vary significantly from 12:00-4:00 PM in an outdoor stadium– we go from sunshine with stadium lighting to shade — but I need to make very few adjustments during that time. These cameras just perform extremely well, no matter what the weather is like.”
The most affordable member of the Unicam HD camera series, the Ikegami HDK-55 uses 1080i 2.3 megapixels AIT CCDs. Like the other portable cameras in the Unicam HD series, the HDK-55 is a compact low-profile camera head with docking adaptor for fiber or triax cable use.
The Buffalo Bills’ new Ikegami cameras were supplied by system designer Audio Video Corp. New features of the HDK-55, such as the intuitive focus aid know as Quick EZ Focus, allowed the Bills staff of freelance camera operators to quickly take control of the cameras. “I was able to go through all of the HDK-55’s functions with our operators on the day of the first home game this season, and they were able to learn everything they needed to know,” Asposto notes. “The feedback we have received from everyone who uses our Ikegami cameras has been extremely positive.”
With an Ikegami HDL-45 3CCD multi-purpose HDTV compact camera already onsite, Asposto had first-hand knowledge of the company’s commitment to supporting its customers. “Their service has been great – that personal connection has a lot to do with why we purchased Ikegami,” says Asposto. “I know there’s a go-to person there that will provide us with the right service and support whenever we need it. It’s a rare relationship – one that I only have with a few manufacturers.”
It’s always exciting when the game kicks off at Ralph Wilson Stadium, especially for the seasoned video production team that can depend 100% on their tools.
“My adrenaline still rushes on Game Day,” says Steve Asposto. “The in-game experience is a live production that definitely gets my blood flowing. Having the right equipment in place is essential – I have complete confidence in Ikegami.”