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01.16.2004
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Tapeless acquisition improves efficiency of Kansas City Chiefs


The Kansas City Chiefs now shoot practice and game footage with three Ikegami Editcam II DNS-21W camcorders that record directly to a hard drive.

Kansas City Chiefs fans might still be stinging from the team’s 38-31 defeat to the Indianapolis Colts a week ago in the AFC playoffs, but the Chief’s video operations can chalk up a win when it comes to efficiency thanks to a new tapeless ENG system used to capture every play from training camp, practices and most games.

In June 2003, the Chiefs replaced their existing Betacam SP equipment with three Ikegami Editcam II DNS-21W camcorders that record directly to a hard drive. In and out points are marked to correspond to each play to simplify editing. Footage is recorded to 40GB FieldPak hard disks and ultimately loaded onto the squad’s Pinnacle Systems Team Sports editing environment.

“From an efficiency stand point, going tapeless definitely helps with practice,” said Chiefs director of video operations Mike Portz. “When we get inside after practice, it’s just a file transfer to our main network server. We don’t have to capture it like we did when we shot on tape. We can transfer files in real time, and the (in and out) marks are already there.”

The tapeless system reduces the amount of legwork the Chiefs production staff must do during practices. “When we were shooting tapes, we would make a drop after every drill,” explained Portz. “An intern would grab the tape, take it to the office, capture the footage and mark it.”

However, with the tapeless system, only two drops are required. The first FieldPak hard drive captures about two-thirds of a typical Chiefs practice with the beginning and end of each play already marked. The second records the rest of practice.

Back at the Chiefs video center, the FieldPaks slide into an external two-bay drive housing system. Footage is then transferred to the Team Sports editing system.

When the team is away, the editing can be done on the return flight to Kansas City. “On the plane we can edit with an adapter on the laptop,” said Portz. “We can check what we shot and create our edit so when we get back to the office all we have to do is upload it to our network and basically we are done.”

For more information about Ikegami products visit www.ikegami.com.

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