LEXINGTON, KY.—Rupp Arena is the home court of the University of Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball team. The 23,000-seat facility is constantly upgrading to meet the expectations of the team’s fan base, which not only expects to have an NBA arena-type experience, but to see pictures on the large LED screens consistent with the quality of their home viewing experience.
We recently added a new LED scoreboard/HD video/advertising board, measuring 35-feet wide on each side by 30-feet tall. Four Ikegami HDK-95C full digital portable CMOS camera systems and two Ikegami HDL-57 digital compact above-the-rim cameras in-house are in use to capture high-quality game footage—but that’s not the only key component for accomplishing this goal.
Merrill Richardson uses the HEM-1770WR and HLM-1751 to ensure the arena experience is as good as home viewing.TEAMWORK IS KEY
Monitoring is another key link in the chain, and we have two highly precise solutions with our Ikegami HEM-1770WR 17-inch full HD OLED Grade-1 master monitor and HLM-1751WR 17-inch HD multiformat LCD color monitor. These monitors are necessary to provide the best picture and correct colors on all of our LED large screens throughout the facility.
At Rupp Arena, our shader uses the HEM-1770WR OLED master monitor to be certain the cameras are matched correctly, our shots are in focus, and the total system is showing us the exact same colors as the fans are seeing it live. Meanwhile, the HLM-1751WR LCD monitor is on hand to provide a grade 1 LCD monitor with wide viewing angle, superior brightness/contrast and accurate color reproduction. While the master OLED monitor displays the outgoing program to the arena’s LED displays, the shader often uses our HLM-1751WR monitor to critically view any of the cameras, ME’s, servers, CG, or replays.
After first seeing these monitors at the NAB Show, we knew we needed them at Rupp Arena. Having an OLED monitoring system that could complement our Ikegami CMOS cameras was an obvious choice. OLED is the latest technology, and as a result, the HEM-1770WR displays the truest colors and black level. I always recommend that a video production plant have at least one OLED as a master monitor in their system on the final output.
We’ve been an Ikegami camera house since 2001, but these were our first Ikegami monitors. All of our monitors were CRT until we converted to HD last season—now we have multi-viewers and large screens in our control room for the director, replay, and server, plus a second switcher for the second director, graphics operator and sound operator.
One reason that we’ve been an Ikegami house for so long is the sales and service support that we get from the company. Whenever I have a question, I know that I will get a quick response from my sales contact. I have a direct contact for technical issues, and if I need a part repaired I know I can receive a loaner part until mine is fixed. It’s great to know that we can depend on Ikegami’s support, as well as depend on the monitors themselves.
My philosophy about master reference monitors is that you only need one, but you need to have the best that you can buy. With our new scoreboard, our Ikegami monitors are all the more important to getting an accurate look for everything that we’re displaying.
Merrill Richardson is director of facilities, Rupp Arena and Lexington Center Corp. He may be contacted at email@example.com.
For more information, please visit www.ikegami.comor call 201-368-9171.