University of St. Thomas Minnesota

High Definition Coaching Analysis Proliferates Throughout U. Of ST. Thomas' Varsity Sports With Panasonic AVCCAM Recording


The University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN) is the largest private university in the state, with more than 10,500 undergraduate and graduate students. It is an NCAA Division III school and a member of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Men and women compete in 20 varsity sports, and more than one-third of all undergraduate students participate in intercollegiate varsity or club competitions.

The University recently made a large-scale investment in Panasonic gear, including six AW-HE50S point-of-view cameras with HD-SDI outputs, two mountable AG-HCK10 HD camera heads (POVCAMS), AV-HS400 and AW-HS50 switchers, and five AG-HMR10 handheld AVCCAM HD solid-state recorders, its chief recording device. The predominant utilization is for coaching analysis. The low cost and extreme portability of the Panasonic equipment translate into more varsity sports reaping the benefits of HD coaching video. What's more, the school's entire athletic complex is wired for HD-SDI and IP control, which means it can operate any of the HE50S cameras from any internet jack in the building.

Overall, the staff feels that it has been able to implement a cost-effective, highly sophisticated system that would be the envy of much larger universities.

The HMR10 handheld recorder, incredibly portable at 1.5 pounds, puts the flexibility of recording and viewing high-quality 1080 /720 AVCHD content literally in the palm of one's hand. The battery-powered HMR10 can be teamed with the HCK10 Full HD POVCAM to form a point-of-view camera/recorder system. And, because it's equipped with an HD-SDI in/out, the HMR10 can also serve as standalone recorder for any HD-SDI-capable camera, such as the HE50S.

As the university closed a successful football season, it took full advantage of the HMR10's capabilities. Two of the HE50S cameras in Panasonic's "cool dome" outdoor housings are permanently installed in the football stadium — one at the end zone, and one at the 50-yard line. During practices, the video staff had two HMR10s in the press box taking HD-SDI feeds from the cameras. For practices, the staff records at the HMR10's lowest recording HE mode, approximately 6 Mbps, to take advantage of the long recording times (up to 12 hours on a 32GB SD card). During home games, the videographers were able to record play on a HMR10 while sitting indoors in their offices. (Games are recorded at the higher-quality PH, 24Mbps mode.)

For away games, the staff took its two POVCAMs on the road, placing one on a tower in the end zone, and the second on a tripod on the 50-yard line — both recording to an HMR10. At half-time during all games, they would start downloading footage into the school's coaching software, Hudl from Agile Sports. Within hours (or by the time the team was riding the bus home), the game was fully loaded and tagged for the coaches.

The university also uses two of the HMR10s teamed with the POVCAMs on rolling production systems the staff calls "coaches' carts" that it can shuffle among discrete sports' practice venues. Indoor track and diving have made ample use of these carts. Diving has come up with an innovative implementation, whereby the POVCAM is outfitted with a wide-angle lens and is turned on its side, recording to the HMR10 poolside to capture divers as they enters the water.

The size, quality and versatility of the HMR10 have transformed the way the university looks at sports video. The AVCCAM recorder is a perfect fit for the school's athletics-wide HD-SDI operation and permits recording from anywhere in the building. It can take a feed from the pan/tilts or from the production room, and, of course, is ideally partnered with the POVCAM. AVCCAM HD production is the way the University of St. Thomas intends to move forward.

For more information about the university and its athletics programs, visit www.stthomas.edu.

 

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