Inertia Unlimited, Telecast Fiber Debut New X-Mo/CopperHead System at World Series

Inertia Unlimited’s X-Mo camera and Telecast Fiber Systems’ CopperHead 3400 camera-mounted fiber optic transceiver teamed up to offer slow motion capabilities for FOX Sports’ World Series coverage. The World Series marked the official launch of the X-Mo/CopperHead 3400 combination, which leverages fiber’s light weight and high-bandwidth multiplexing capabilities to deliver the high quality slow-motion playback to viewers.

Based on Vision Research’s Phantom series of high-speed cameras, the X-Mo is an HD camera capable of shooting at up to 6,933 frames per second at 720p, and more than 2,700 fps at 1080i. When the camera is used for slow motion playback, the higher number of frames delivers a greater level of detail and better image quality than traditional slow-motion systems. Since the CopperHead 3400 was developed for use with 3D rigs, the system is able to multiplex both of the X-Mo’s outputs — the standard live broadcast feed and the slow-motion output — onto a single SMPTE fiber cable.

“There is a great deal of bandwidth involved in sending both live HD and slow-motion feeds back from the camera, which previously required a large number of fiber and copper connections,” says Jeff Silverman, owner, Inertia Unlimited. “Now, with the CopperHead 3400, we can transmit all the signals we need with a single box, over a single cable. Not only is the system much easier to set up and take down, but it offers greater reliability because there are fewer connection points. The CopperHead 3400 really is the only solution on the market that can provide this level of connectivity, in such a simple package.”

For the World Series games played in San Francisco’s AT&T Park, the X-Mo captured live footage for slow motion playback at up to 360 fps from outfield position, providing a perspective of the pitcher’s mound and batter box. Although the X-Mo/CopperHead configuration had been tested earlier this year at other MLB games and the Commonwealth Games in India, the World Series was the solution’s official launch in an actual broadcast. Inertia Unlimited has already contracted with FOX Sports to use the system for its broadcast of Super Bowl XLV in February.

“Since its introduction at the 2003 World Series, the X-Mo system has re-defined slow-motion playback for HD broadcasting,” says Jim Hurwitz, director of product management for Telecast Fiber Systems. “There is no solution on the market today that comes close to its cutting-edge capabilities for delivering high-quality slo-mo. We’re pleased that the CopperHead 3400 is playing such an important role as Inertia Unlimited continues to evolve the X-Mo for today’s most advanced sports programming.”

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