XOS Digital’s Hurricane HD Replay Centerpieces Kentucky’s New Control Room
When Kentucky football fans file into Commonwealth Stadium for the Wildcats’ home-opener against Central Michigan on Sept. 10, they will be treated to a whole new game day experience.
Earlier this month, XOS Digital, a provider of content management solutions and digital media services for collegiate and professional sports organizations, announced a partnership with the university to design and install a broadcast control room within the stadium. The control room will also power the new in-stadium video boards being installed by Daktronics this summer.
“Our entire sports video department is looking forward to giving the football fans a more entertaining game experience,” says Shane Fannin, director of sports video, University of Kentucky. “I’m personally excited to be able to give the fans a couple of new camera angles with the addition of a wireless roaming camera and a remote controlled camera under the stadium where the team comes out of the locker room. Maintaining a true HD signal from camera lens to video board will also give that crisp sharp detailed picture that fans are really going to appreciate.”
According to Bryan Bedford, director of sales and business development, XOS, a major lynchpin in the deal was UK’s desire to produce quality replay. That drew Kentucky administration to XOS, which was preparing to introduce Hurricane HD Replay, a proprietary live event production replay system.
“We launched [Hurricane] June 1 to the marketplace after doing some recon and preview work out at NAB where we had some demos and we actually had the guys at Kentucky come see that,” says Bedford. “They weren’t sure back then whether [the stadium renovations] were going to happen or not but they were doing their due diligence behind the scenes. So for us, we get to do all of our standard systems integrations but we also get the chance to really showcase what we think is going to be a game changer for XOS in Hurricane.”
Two Hurricane HD slow-motion instant replay systems are being deployed on the project with up to eight camera inputs. The UK production staff will use both Hurricane systems simultaneously in conjunction with a non-linear editor to produce highlights during and after games.
The control room project is about 40% complete as of July 27 according to Jim Pile, broadcast sales engineer, XOS. He also added that it is well on schedule to be completed in time for the opening of the 2011 football season.
“The challenges in designing a room from nothing are very interesting,” says Pile. “The school really relied on XOS to tell them exactly what they needed. So we’ve been working with both their in-house and out-of-house contractors to get them a workflow that worked for everyone. Being able to coordinate this with them while staying within their budgetary constraints has been a challenge but it has been a lot of fun.”
UK will now be able to record, manage, and distribute video from multiple sources to many different endpoints within the football stadium using the new broadcast control room. A few of the endpoints that will be powered by the control room include online live-stream channels, in-venue televisions for viewing on concourses and lobbies, large-screen score board display, and the satellite truck dock, which incorporates feeds for video production and live television broadcasts.
Other major features of the new control room include: seven HD cameras, including a wireless handheld, a wired handheld, and five positioned on tripods (one camera will be controlled remotely from the broadcast control room to show the teams’ entrance onto the field); a 32×32 inch video and audio router with multiple control panels for content delivery; a DVD player/recorder; and a user supplied Sony XD Camera Player Recorder.
The control room will also work hand in hand with Kentucky’s other major offseason project at Commonwealth Stadium: an HD-upgraded video board and sound system from Daktronics.
Two high definition Daktronics HD-X video displays – each measuring approximately 37 feet high by 80 feet wide – are being installed behind each end zone. Each display will provide live and recorded video in high definition, with picture in picture capability with multiple zones to show scores, statistics, and sponsor information.
In addition to the end-zone displays, fans will be presented with additional content, including additional statistics, scoring and timing information, animations, and other motion graphics on 14 digital ribbon displays located around the seating bowl. The digital ribbon boards will surround the interior of the seating bowl, with more than 1,800 total linear feet of digital technology. The longest two of these displays will measure more than 485 feet and span the sidelines of the stadium.
Daktronics will also provide a custom sound system to enhance Wildcats’ game days. The Sportsound system includes a main speaker cluster behind the end zone, under balcony speakers, and concourse speakers.