FOX Sports Turf Cam to capture Super Bowl from the trenches

Turf Cam closely resembles Diamond Cam, which debuted on FOX Sports during its coverage of the 2004 All-Star Game in Houston
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Viewers saw unique views of the 2004 Major League Baseball All-Star thanks to Diamond Cam lenses buried four inches in the ground at Minute Maid Park in Houstin. Turf Cams - similar to Diamond Cams - will be implanted in the field and in the end zone pylons to give FOX Sports unique coverage angles on Super Bowl action.

FOX Sports will roll out Turf Cam as part of its Super Bowl XXXIX coverage Feb. 6 from ALLTEL Stadium in Jacksonville, FL.

Following other in-ground camera innovations, such as Catcher Cam and Diamond Cam used during the telecast of the 2004 Major League Baseball All-Star Game from Minute Maid Park in Houston, Turf Cams will be implanted in the field and in the end zone pylons to give FOX Sports unique coverage angles on Super Bowl action.

Turf Cam is a video camera the size of a pencil eraser. FOX Sports hired Broadcast Sports (BSI) to provide 14 miniature cameras for its Super Bowl coverage.

The current plan is to locate Turf Cams in each end zone corner pylon with two facing toward the goal line and two facing the end line. Four others will be implanted in the actual field of play. Two will protrude slightly from the ground at an angle at the center of the field at each 21 yard line facing the closest end zone. Turf Cams also will be stationed at each two-and-a-half yard line, near where extra point snaps are typically placed. Two more, mounted on poles, are being used in temporary locations for a unique look at the players as they’re introduced.

Each CCD camera has a camera control unit (CCU) and a lens, which is mounted onto the CCD sensor. Cameras located on the playing field are buried four inches in the ground with only the tip of the camera lens protruding.

The combination sensor and lens is about two inches long and one-quarter inch in diameter. Wiring of the ALLTEL Stadium field to accommodate Turf Cam use was completed Jan. 5. Besides the Turf Cams, FOX Sports will use 24 manned cameras to cover the game. It plans to mount a weather-proof HD camera, using an inverted aerial mount, to the top of Jacksonville’s Hart Bridge, which will provide panoramic views of the stadium and skyline. Bridge Cam is scheduled to be installed today.

To read more about the use of in-field cameras during the All-Star Game, visit http://broadcastengineering.com/news/broadcasting_fox_diamond_cams/index.html.

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