West Virginia University

Panasonic Technology Solutions for Sports and Higher Education

The West Virginia University's (Morgantown, WV) Mountaineers football team, a perennial leader in the Big East conference, is capturing all this season's thrilling action with Panasonic P2 HD camcorders for usage ranging from video board display to a coach’s show that airs on major sports networks to coaching analysis.

WVU's Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has made a substantial investment in Panasonic P2 HD products, including high-end 2/3" HD camcorders (an AJ-HPX2700 VariCam Cinematography, AJ-HPX2000 and AJ-HPX500s), the AG-HPX370 shoulder-mount 1/3" HD camcorders configured for studio use, the AG-HVX200A handheld camcorders, as well as P2 Mobile HD six-slot recorder/players.

Chris Ostien, senior producer/director for the Mountaineer Sports Network (MSN), a multimedia operation operated by WVU that reports on and promotes the university's 17 varsity teams, including NCAA Division 1 and Big East Conference football and basketball, said that Panasonic P2 HD gear is the linchpin of a front-to-back file-based workflow. Collaborating with University Relations-Video, MSN is making versatile use of the VariCam 2700 for high-end recruitment videos, institutional television spots, providing highlights and programming to ESPN and other national networks and local stations, and more.

During football season, the HPX500s see heavy field use, and are used handheld on the sidelines to capture footage for "Mountaineers 360" (the weekly coach's television show), for various video board productions (e.g., entrance video, kickoff video, moving headshots), and for features for the WVU athletic web site. The popular half-hour show with head football coach Bill Stewart airs on network affiliates across West Virginia, as well as on SNY, MASN and Fox College Sports.

Off the field, Ostien recently used the HPX500 to shoot seven 30-second commercials and a long-form video for the Mountaineer Athletic Club, the school's booster organization. The commercials are airing in MSN programs, on the stadium video board and online.

Ostien noted that MSN has just purchased an additional HPX500 and HPX370 P2 HD shoulder-mounts that will be used to stream live video at sporting events at the WVU Coliseum (the site of men's and women's basketball, volleyball, wrestling and gymnastics) and to feed the arena's video board. The P2 Mobile recorders are used to record a live multi-camera line cut from the video boards at home games, and to record the game from the network TV truck on the road.

MSN has a centralized, drive-based EditShare server, so staff can edit wherever an Avid editing station resides. "We usually have about seven hours of footage after each game," Ostien said.

"Because there's no digitizing with P2, we can upload files from EditShare and be in and out in two hours. The time-savings are phenomenal!"

Mountaineer football's Brett Kelley, the 2009 Big East Conference Video Coordinator of the Year, is in his third season shooting video for coaching analysis with AG-HVX200A P2 HD handhelds and the AJ-HPX2000 P2 HD shoulder-mount.

Kelley shoots with the HVX200A in the end zones and the HPX2000 on the sidelines to take advantage of its zoom speed. He works on the field with laptops equipped with DVSport GameDay, a football-specific digital video editing and data analysis software package. He records to P2 cards during practices and to P2 cards and laptops during games.

"We rely on the speed and efficiency of P2," Kelley said. "We change out cards two-three times during a practice and load up the DVSport application. I can intercut, do whatever I need to for the 10 coaches, and by the time the coaches walk off the field, the practice video is ready for them."

Each of the coaches' offices and nine additional meeting rooms are equipped with DVSport computers where the video can be viewed. Coaches can get the video on a hard drive to watch off site, and Kelley prepares DVDs for the players. During games, Kelley said, "we put the game in as we go," so these videos are likewise quickly available for review and exchange throughout the Big East Conference over the DragonFly Storm video network.

"With P2 we've consistently realized superior, cost-effective performance," Kelley said. "It's a heck of a deal."




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