ESPN’s Monday Night Football Set for 1080p60 With AVS

While ESPN’s Monday Night Football schedule doesn’t officially begin for another 17 days (but who’s counting?), football fans starved for game action can get a taste during the network’s preseason coverage as they gear up for the regular season.  And this year’s regular season coverage will be produced entirely in 1080p60.

ESPN uses AVS gear to capture Washington Redskins' QB Robert Griffin III.

ESPN uses AVS gear to capture Washington Redskins’ QB Robert Griffin III.

Aerial Video Systems, a contributor to ESPN’s Monday Night Football package since 2005, is helping to make that 1080p60 upgrade a reality.  The network deployed AVS’ Link 1700 transmitter – a light, compact model weighing less than 1.25 lbs. – attached to an AVS-provided RF P1 Steadicam during its second preseason game, when the Washington Redskins hosted the Cleveland Browns on Aug. 18.

“Everyone was pretty much blown away by the picture quality,” says AVS President Randy Hermes of the 1080p60 broadcast. “Everyone was completely surprised how awesome it looked.

The L1700, which debuted at IBC2013, transmits in MPEG-4 and, more importantly, 1080p60. “[It] hasn’t been used before,” continues Hermes. “This is the first use. We’re the only vendor that can provide that right now.”

In addition to the L1700/RF Steadicam setup, AVS will provide its own Partenavia P68 Observer aircraft, outfitted with Cineflex V14 and Link microwave systems and an additional RF handheld on select games.

With two preseason games down, ESPN’s use of 1080p60 appears ready for its regular-season debut on Sept. 8, when the New York Giants take on the Detroit Lions and the San Diego Chargers visit the Arizona Cardinals.

AVS’ gear will also be used in CBS/NFL Network’s new Thursday Night Football package and NBC’s Sunday Night Football package. CBS will deploy an RF Steadicam on its pre- and postgame studio shows, an RF Steadicam on game, two RF handheld Sony 2500 cameras, and one RF handheld camera for NFL Films. NBC will deploy an RF Steadicam and occasional RF handheld camera, as well as aerial shots.

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