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Dasher Cam Video

Here’s the caveats:

1. First time running it
2. Operator had never run that controller before
3. Had some dirt and condensation issues
4. We had no idea what to expect.

With that, we can still see huge potential with this camera, and with the one we’re hoping to put at center ice.

Clicky through to You Tube for HD.

DasherCam and Late Night Misc.

Another late night post. One day I will get back to scheduling them to go at 9:30am.

Double attack zone dasher cam hole

So we finally rolled out the in-dashboard camera last night in the Pens double attack zone. We treated this as a test, since we had no idea what to expect having just had the dashers cut the day before.  Frankly, if we could get one or two shots on air I would have considered it a success.

Saw FSN take this shot several times.  Heard from several of you that it came out pretty nice on the Derek E. fight.  Haven’t got to see it myself, but am going to look at the ISO record tomorrow. I’ll post some un-aired shots as soon as I can.

Had some issues.  Condensation, ice sprays, inside of the glass was a little dirty. Went a lot better than expected though for a first run.


We cut holes for two locations for this.  One in the double attack zone, and one about 6 feet off of center red. Didn’t have the holes cut for cable in that one, but I think if I have one camera to go with on opening night that’s where we’re going to put it.

Other stuff:

– Our center 360 robotic camera finally goes in on Sunday.  We wanted to have this look full time, so rather than hope that the networks cover it, we decided to add it and share it with them.   This is the last significant install we have to do in the control room scope.

– We’ve used the Dalet and ContentVision combination in our control room edit suite the past two games.  We’ve had some hangups, but from a proof of concept standpoint it was amazing.  ContentVision grabs the NHL HiTS data in real time, hands it off to Dalet who associates it with video and applies it to the multiple camera streams we’re recording.  Editor is able to bring it right up in Final Cut Pro by event/stat.  Amazing, and this was maybe at the core of my entire media asset management mad-scientist run in the first place.

– If any assists were wrong in our three games, it’s my fault.  I completely dropped the ball getting the off-ice officials their DVR to review. These aren’t the video replay guys – all that stuff works fine – these are the guys that enter every stat that you see from the game.  Sorry, Phil!  It will work for October 7th

– Some of you may have noticed the scoring go out last night for a few minutes during second intermission.  Rest assured the time was still kept properly, but we lost our RSS feeds (thats how we do out of town scores, birthdays, sports news, etc) and had to reset the server quickly which caused an unexpected outage in the score display.  All fixed.

– Still refining and tweaking Yinzcam in the new barn.  Be patient, it should all be resolved by the 7th.

– There were 400 active iPhones in the arena last night. Just in case you were wondering.

– Seth’s wifi worked spectacular.

– FSN broadcast seemed like it went well.  Would appreciate any thoughts on the lower camera angles and how it affects the speed of the game.

Back at it tomorrow.

Live From iPad

So I finally caved and went with the iPad. I’ve blown a lot of hot air about waiting for an Android or Chrome based tablet solution to come out, and after having an HTC Incredible for a few weeks I really thought that was where I was going to end up.

But alas, I have some things that I want to accomplish for the start of the season and have been getting anxious to implement a solution, so I caved.

One of the things about live television and presentations is that you rarely stick 100 percent to the script once the pucks drops. In pro sports, the game has to balance entertainment, sponsorship, game info elements, and tv-style elements like replays and goal reviews.

So the problem becomes keeping everyone on board with what is going where. News stations have been using this for years, and we’re looking for a way to integrate it into our productions so that the producer, director, audio, engineering, etc can keep up to the minute without having to constantly keep making notes and scribbles on their paper scripts. The iPad seems like a perfect format to do this on. Sure, a laptop would work but even in our big control room desk space is at a premium.

So we took the plunge and are testing it out. My wife picked on me and said she hasn’t seen me use it once yet for fun. I mentioned that it was funny when this was announced and the anti-fanboys mocked it and said it would never replace a laptop.

Between drop box, citrix, google docs, and now evernote, it’s become my primary input device since I acquired it. And now I’ve made my first blog post with it. Another revolution.

P.S. Hey steve j, the no flash thing really sucks.

TV Technology

TV Technology has been a weekly part of my professional career dating way back to the early-mid 90’s.  If you’re college student in a “trade” you always load up on all of the free subscriptions, and TV Technology was one of the better reads for gathering information on all that BetacamSP stuff we all longed for back in the day.

Consol has been featured in a number of these, and I find it kind of funny that I’m giving interviews for all of these trade mags that I used to read.  Back when we were younger we would look at the guys in these articles and think “I’ll never be that smart or get there”.  Turns out the smartness requirement was highly over-rated. 😉

Robin did a pretty good job trying to fit 100 topics into a tight word count.  I would have liked to go a little bit deeper on the file management and stuff like that, but honestly our setup is so complex and there are so many layers of technology in there that it’s tough to get it into one story.  It’s sort of like when I knew Phish was on David Letterman or something like that and I’d hope they’d let them jam on for a 10 minute song instead of the standard 3.5.  Nice thought, but not grounded in reality.

Here’s the article. 

Big Stuff

Some new friends arrived this week.  Three LED units in the form factor of hockey pucks were finally installed in the “spine” of the building from the the American Eagle Outfitters entrance.  Heckuva lot bigger than I expected them to be from the drawings,  and they are pretty overwhelming to see when you walk into the building (or look from across the street).  Imagine the scene when the Penguins score a goal and they’re all lit up like goal sirens.  The biggest one stands 6 foot 2 inches of vertical display.

A good bit of the art around the arena is being installed this week as well.  One of the things that I wasn’t aware of that was a pleasant surprise is an image of Sidney Crosby that dominates one of the walls on the main concourse.  I’m sure there’s going to be some more surprises popping up here and there. I wasn’t involved in any of that portion of the project, so for me it’s been great to walk around and see some of these items popping up.

Walked through the two main interactive areas yesterday.  The All-Time team display at the Trib Total Media entrance gate is very impressive.  The fact that it can be constantly updated is the big draw for me.    Static HOF/special areas are great but they are static.  This gives the opportunity for constant updates.

And there’s an augmented reality experience near the kids zone that you’re just going to love, no matter what your age is.

On the tech side it’s configure, configure, configure.  Most of our control room training has been done.  It’s exciting to see that the crew is going to be able to do the show that they want without technical limitations.  I’d expect a much more high-paced and energetic presentation from what you’re used to.

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