NFL.com Serves Up Multichannel Media Day

NFL Engineering played a crucial role for the past two weeks at Miami Sun Life Stadium, helping ensure a smooth transition from the Pro Bowl to the Super Bowl and also working behind the scenes with NFL.com, NFL Network, and a host of international clients.

One of the highlights of the week was Media Day for NFL.com. Held the Wednesday prior to the Super Bowl, Media Day is traditionally a crazy day for all involved as national media, local media, and everything in between converge for a day of interviews with players and coaches from both teams. To move the day along the NFL sets up 12 podiums so 12 interviews can be held simultaneously.

This year, for the first time ever, NFL.com streamed interviews from all 12 podiums simultaneously, making it easier than ever for fans to watch interviews with their favorite players. It also required the NFL.com team to figure out a way to cost-effectly acquire and stream video from 12 cameras.

Jeff Howard, NFL Network and NFL Films, senior executive, engineering and broadcast technologies,and his team worked closely with NFL.com to produce the interviews. Canon AVC HD camcorders were mounted on Manfrotto Magic Arms at each podium and pumped HDMI signals to Aja converters. The Aja converters then turned the HDMI signals into HD-SDI and camera signals were then sent via fiber to NEP’s Super B unit that is handling distribution and master control for the NFL. Those signals were then available not only to NFL.com but also for NFL Network TV coverage of the interviews.

“In live mode the Canon camcorders have low latency,” says Howard.

Along with prepping for tomorrow’s big game Howard is also preparing for his traditional batch of gumbo, with andouille sausage and fresh gulf shrimp on site. Generator provider Grekko is also ready to roll out some gumbo, a fitting tradition to a game that this year will feature the first appearance in a Super Bowl by the New Orleans Saints.

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