2014-15 NHL Season Preview: Altitude Moves to 16:9, Updates Graphics for Avalanche Season
After an electric campaign that saw the Colorado Avalanche finish first in the Western Conference, buzz is alive around the team. It’s also an exciting time for the team’s local television partner, Altitude Sports, with the network set to move to 16:9 and roll out a new graphics and animations package.
Viewers can expect a wholly new, sharp look to Altitude’s coverage when the network opens its Avalanche season when the Avs host the rival Minnesota Wild on Saturday night.
“It’s our 10th anniversary for Altitude, so it’s a good time for us to change up the look,” says Altitude Senior Producer/Director Doug Menzies, who has 15 years covering Avs games under his belt. “We’re really excited to roll out all of these changes. I can’t wait to get the season going on Saturday.”
The move to 16:9 is a long-awaited one for Altitude and will offer a new level of quality to productions.
“16:9 is a big thing for those standard-def viewers,” says Menzies. “These days, if you have a standard-def TV, you’re missing some of the action. I think [16:9 is] a big plus for viewers of live sports, who are going to see a lot more of the action.”
Produced out of Mobile TV Group’s 29HDX, a typical Avalanche game from Pepsi Center features eight HD cameras, two Fletcher robos (which move about the arena from such spots as behind-the-net and center ice atop the glass). The network also shares resources with the in-arena video team, including an HD robo mounted at the base of the arena’s exceptionally large center-hung videoboard.
According to VP, Production and Programming, Steve Hurlbut, Altitude will expand its use of virtual-ad insertion. The network began dabbling in the technology during the first round of last year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. It was effective for marketing and sales, and the technology will be used on home games throughout the regular season.