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Patriot League rolls out online sports network with new ProHD cameras

The Patriot League, a Division 1 conference with sponsored championship competition in 24 sports, has purchased 30 JVC GY‑HM600 ProHD cameras as part of 10 portable video production systems to stream live coverage of sporting events from its member schools to its digital network, in partnership with Campus Insiders.

Established in 1986, the Patriot League includes 10 full members and three associate members. It has been streaming sports coverage for seven years, but had limited digital rights and only produced about 150 events per year.

This year, with a more consolidated rights package and custom-built, multicamera HD production systems for each full member school, the league will stream nearly 250 live home games in the fall from a variety of men’s and women’s sports, including football, basketball, field hockey, volleyball and soccer.

Designed and built by Applied Video Technology, a systems integrator in Malvern, PA, each VidCaster 455 system is anchored by three GY-HM600 cameras and a NewTek TriCaster 455 integrated production system.

According to Richard Wanninger, Patriot League senior associate executive director, the new systems began to be deployed in mid-August, and the new conference website went live Aug. 26.

Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA, produced the inaugural live event using a new VidCaster 455 system, providing coverage of its women’s soccer season opener, a 3-0 victory over Rider University, on Aug. 23.

The Bucknell crew kept its GY-HM600s on tripods for the first production, but has already added handheld footage to football coverage. With its built-in BNC connector for SDI output, the camera can be used for mobile sideline shooting.

The GY-HM600 is a three, 1/3in CMOS sensor camera with high sensitivity in low light, which was put to the test during Bucknell’s first production. The soccer field was not evenly lit. One end of the field was noticeably darker, but there were no significant issues with contrast between the cameras.

Beyond game coverage, the new JVC cameras are being used to produce highlight and feature packages. The Patriot League purchased an additional GY-HM600, housed at the league’s main offices in Center Valley, PA, to produce clips on student athletes and alumni throughout the year. Member schools are producing their own packages as well.

With its .MOV native file recording and use of non-proprietary SDHC or SDXC media cards, the GY-HM600 has ushered in a tapeless ENG workflow for Bucknell. In post production, clips can be accessed quickly from Final Cut Pro without transcoding.