Multiple technologies used to cover Super Bowl XLI

Even though it wasn't distinguished as the highest rated championship game, Miami's Super Bowl XLI certainly set the record for the most HD images of some of the soggiest football playing conditions.

In fact, many ticket holders probably would have had a better day in front of a widescreen HD set served by CBS's artillery of 48 HD video cameras. This included six Sony HDC3300 3X slow-motion cameras, and two different high-speed camera systems for slow-motion effects.

Considering that the game was the first major HDTV event of 2007 for many new HD set owners, CBS added several enhancements to its coverage. The network's SuperVision camera views came via a Phantom V10 camera from Vision Research (up to 1000fps) and a custom Memrecam Hi-Motion system put together by Fletcher Video from NAC Image Technology.

The weather caused havoc on the production, Ken Aagaard, who oversaw CBS technical operators, told the "Kansas City Star." For the Super Bowl, CBS was using four times the equipment normally employed for a football telecast.

Early on, the rain knocked out a generator. The network then went on high alert for further problems with miles of cable lines running through the stadium. CBS, which presented the game in the 1080i HD format, said condensation caused by high humidity clouded field cameras and lenses.

Leslie Ann Wade, a CBS Sports spokeswoman, told the Associated Press that the director kept cutting away from cameras that had condensation caused by the soggy conditions as crews wiped down the lenses as fast as possible between shots. In the control truck, crew members could see which of the cameras needed to be cleaned.

Cable-cam, the aerial point-of-view camera that hung over the playing field, was also taken down during breaks to be dried.

To punch up the HD images, more than a dozen additional soft lighting units were added to raise the light level across the playing field.

Each of the 48 HD cameras was outfitted with Canon lenses. Veteran mobile production company NEP Supershooters, which used its latest HD-capable truck SS-24 to cover Super Bowl XLI live, provided production facilities on-site.

NEP Supershooters' rig on-site in Miami (actually a combination of an A and B unit with its support unit SS-24C) used 18 HDC-1500 multiformat cameras, six HDC-3300 super-motion camera systems (which perform 3X speed slow-motion effects in full HD) and an MVS-8000A multiformat HD production switcher. In addition, a range of Sony HD VTRs, displays and a Calrec Alpha audio console were used to deliver the game.

Among the units were 21 hard cameras, three hard-wired handheld cameras, two wireless handheld cameras and the overhead CableCam. The cameras fed about 40 EVS servers and five Sony HDCAM recorders.