Carolina Panthers’ HD control-room rebuild maximizes communication

Category New studio technology — non-broadcast Submitted by Ross Video Design Team Carolina Panthers: Kyle Ritchie, dir. of entertainment and PantherVision; Berkley Dickens, eng. Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams: Chris ...
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New studio technology — non-broadcast

Submitted by
Ross Video Design Team

Carolina Panthers:
Kyle Ritchie, dir. of entertainment and PantherVision;
Berkley Dickens, eng.

Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams:
Chris Williams, VP

Professional Products:
Kevin Filano, sys. design eng.

Technology at work
Chyron LAX-2
Dell monitors
Evertz multi-image viewers
EVS XT[2] server
Panasonic VTRs
Pro-Bel Sirius router
Riedel Matrix intercom Ross Video Vision 3 MD-X production switcher
Sony
Monitors
VTRs
Sound Creations
Crossfire 1 and 2 servers
Blaze digital sign controller
TV Logic monitors

Carolina Panthers’ HD control-room rebuild maximizes communication

The Carolina Panthers’ original control room was built along with the new stadium in 1996. The goal was to rebuild the entire control room with new equipment to make it HD-compliant before the fall football season. The recent addition of Mitsubishi video screens added to the need of new production equipment.

The design goal was to remain roughly within the same footprint of space. The control room was completely gutted and pushed out 4ft from its original size, and everything was inventoried. A new climate-controlled engineering room was designed to house equipment in order to maximize the layout.

The biggest challenge was to select the right technology to meet future equipment needs by the new football season. Everything had to be seamless, from audio to video, interfacing the equipment and the construction of the control room. It was a large undertaking both physically and financially, especially making the transition to computer-based technology. A new experience in the design was the increased awareness regarding how to process all signals. Special acoustical considerations included raising the solid floor to install cabling underneath. A simple change that has made a big impact on the Carolina Panthers’ live game productions has been the Riedel intercom system. The increased communication has added to an improved overall production environment.

There were many key vendors that played a role in the equipment needs for the rebuild. Ross Video’s Vision production switcher is complex yet simplifies productions. Vision is modular, so it’s easy to switch things out. The Panthers found that Ross is a people-oriented company that puts a lot of thought into the design of its products, and it has great understanding of the live sports production industry.

The key to improving workflow was increasing the efficiency of the space. The ergonomics alone posed a challenge, as a typical game day requires 16 people to be in the control room. The ability to control everything remotely was important, as all the servers and equipment were moved into their own separate climate-controlled engineering room.

Every detail was taken care of to ensure that the design was customized for all production needs, and to ensure increased communication and flexibility. Creating a separate climate-controlled engineering room has drastically changed and improved workflow. The control room also has better communication with the team’s Avid edit suites. The entire rebuild has given the Carolina Panthers the framework to move toward HD sports production. The plan is to produce in HD for the 2009 football season, which will have a significant impact on the entertainment value and overall fan experience.