Astros Turn to Nucomm CP2 System For Wireless Fan Cam Needs

The Houston Astros currently rely on Nucomm’s CP2 Wireless Camera System for its stadium Fan Cam at Minute Maid Park in downtown Houston. In the constant battle against RF clutter, the team uses the Nucomm (part of Vitec Group’s Integrated Microwave Technologies) wireless system to capture fan reactions, in-game close up shots during inning break features, and pre-game ceremonies down on the field.

“We first were introduced to Nucomm’s CP2 wireless system after seeing it in use at the IDEA conference and were very impressed,” says Kirby Kander, senior director of creative services, Houston Astros.  “We were intrigued to see how it would work in our ballpark, and following a demonstration at Minute Maid Park, we were sold.  The system was very convenient to assemble and we no longer have to run cable and set-up antennas daily.”

The CP2 is a tri-band capable unit, which operates in the unlicensed 5.8GHz band, as well as licensed 6.4GHz and 7.1GHz bands without the need of any system hardware changes. This allows Kander and his crew to cover the entire stadium without having to worry about loss of signal.

The system consists of the CP2 transmitter and DR2 diversity receiver.  It is an updated model of its predecessor, the Newscaster DR and offers new features geared towards remote sports production, including “intelligent” block down converters, which communicate to the DR2 receiver to control various operating modes.  By utilizing the ability to block down convert the received high frequency signals to UHF band signals in the 150 to 850 MHz range, the DR2 now has the ability to remotely extend its antennas to 1000 feet (using Belden 1694A cable), complete with DC power from the receiver, as well as other modes of operation including a built in spectrum analyzer and system telemetry display.

“We are very pleased that the Houston Astros have purchased the CamPac2 wireless camera system,” says Stephen Shpock, president of the Vitec Group’s Integrated Microwave Technologies.  “Having the ability to take really unique shots is what the viewer enjoys and the CP2 system allows viewers to gain better coverage because they get perspective from different angles, whether it is on the sidelines, behind the plate, on top of the stadium, outside the locker room or from the players’ view while on the playing field.”

By having the option to choose from two different versions of BDCs for the DR2, as well as interchangeable RF Power modules, these units can transmit and receive a wide range of frequency bands from 1.99 GHz to 7.1 GHz, depending on customer requirements.

“The equipment has taken a major stress off my shoulders,” says Kander.  “It’s very refreshing to have a video signal that works day in and day out.  The bottom line is efficiency and reliability; and we feel the Nucomm’s CP2 wireless camera system is the best equipment available.”

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