07.16.2004 12:00 PM
FOX Diamond Cams deliver unique view of All-Star Game

Baseball watched the All-Star game from all angles thanks to FOX's Diamond Cam.

Baseball fans watching FOX Sports’ coverage of the 75th All-Star Game from Minute Maid Park in Houston on Tuesday had a unique view of the game thanks to a teleproduction innovation dubbed the “FOX Diamond Cam.”

The ultra-low angle, ultra-close shot nearly made what the network’s booth staff called Dodger reliever Eric Gagne’s “violent delivery” look as if he were about to step through the screen at the end of his release. That was one of several shots used to enhance the network’s game coverage.

The FOX Diamond Cams, provided by Broadcast Sports Incorporated (BSI), were installed more than a month ago in the ballpark and were tested in the week leading up to the game. They presented upward-looking field-level shots of home plate and the pitcher’s mound never seen before in an MLB game.

Each Diamond Cam lens was screwed onto a CCD sensor and buried four inches in the ground with only the very tip of the camera lens protruding.

Each camera consisted of a camera control unit (CCU), a CCD sensor and a lens. The lens was screwed onto the CCD sensor and buried four inches in the ground with only the very tip of the camera lens protruding less than a half-inch from the infield clay at the transition of the clay to the grass facing home plate. The combination sensor and lens measured about two inches long and one-quarter inch in diameter. Iris and color control was done remotely via the CCU.

Two Diamond Cams were positioned facing toward home plate, each on opposite sides about three feet from the center line to look directly at either a right or left-handed batter. The third camera was positioned directly upward at the pitcher and was located on the center-line of the pitching mound at the transition from clay to the grass.

FOX Sports also relied on a bevy of other high-tech teleproduction gear including 10 replay machines, including with three super-slow motion capability.

Vyvx provided broadcast backhaul of the network’s SD and HD feeds of the game.

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