University of St. Thomas

University of St. Thomas Makes Wide-ranging Investment in Panasonic Video Equipment for Coaching Analysis

Panasonic Outdoor Camera Systems and AVCCAM POV Cameras & Recorders Bring HD Video to Varsity Sports. Not only are the nation's top-ranked Division I schools having success utilizing Panasonic pro video equipment for coaching analysis, but the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN), a Division III school, is experiencing excellent results. The University of St. Thomas' athletic department has made a large-scale investment in Panasonic video equipment, including six AW-HE50S integrated pan-tilt-zoom cameras with HD-SDI outputs (two in Dotworkz Cooldome outdoor housings), two mountable AGHCK10 HD camera heads (POVCAMs), AV-HS400 and AWHS50 HD/SD switchers, and five AG-HMR10 handheld AVCCAM HD solid-state recorders.

The football team is a large-scale user of Panasonic pro video gear. The Tommies' football team has completed their best season in 63 years with a 13-1 record, making it all the way to the semi-finals of the NCAA III football playoffs. The team's head coach, Glen Caruso, was named the receipt of the Liberty Mutual national Coach of the Year award for Division III football. "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, our entire athletic complex is wired for HD-SDI and IP control, which means we can operate any of the HE50S cameras from any internet jack in the building," said Ronald Riley, Production Manager at the University of St.Thomas.

"Overall, we feel that we have been able to implement a cost-effective, highly sophisticated system that would be the envy of much larger universities." Riley said that the HMR10 handheld recorder is incredibly portable at 1 ½ pounds and places the flexibility of recording and viewing high quality 1080 /720 AVCHD content literally in the palm of the operator's hand. He explained that the battery-powered HMR10 is being 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.

"We are coming to the close of a successful football season that took full advantage of the HMR10's capabilities. Two of the HE50S cameras in Panasonic's Cooldome 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 would have two HMR10s in the press box taking HD-SDI feeds from the cameras. For practices, we record at the HMR10's lowest recording HE mode, approx. 6 Mbps, to take advantage of the long recording times (up to 12 hours on a 32GB SD card). During home games, the videographers would be able to record the play on a HMR10 while sitting indoors in their offices. Games are recorded at the higher-quality PH, 24Mbps mode," Riley added.

"For away games, we would take our two POVCAMs on the road, and place one on a tower in the end zone, the second on a tripod on the 50-yard line, both recording to an HMR10. During all games, at half-time we would start downloading footage into our coaching software, Hudl from Agile Sports. Within hours, or by the time the team was riding the bus home, we would have the game fully loaded and tagged for the coaches.

"We also use two of the HMR10s teamed with the POVCAMs on rolling production systems we call ‘coaches' carts' that we 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 the diver as she enters the water.

"The size, quality and versatility of the HMR10 have transformed the way we look at sports video at St. Thomas. The AVCCAM recorder is a perfect fit within our athletics-wide HD-SDI operation and lets us record from anywhere in the building. It can take a feed from our pan/tilts, from our production room, and, of course, is ideally partnered with the POVCAM. AVCCAM HD production is the way we intend to move forward."

Located in Minnesota's vibrant Twin Cities area, St. Thomas is a private, Catholic comprehensive university serving more than 10,500 undergraduate and graduate students. It competes in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) and NCAA Division III, and offers 11 men's and 11 women's varsity teams, additional club and intramural sports.
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