The Eagles Television Network (ETN) has made a significant commitment to HD production with the rollout of six existing Philadelphia Eagles-related TV shows in HD this season.
Since early this year, ETN has shot all of its features, interviews and show elements in HD with three Panasonic AJ-HPX3000 native 1080p one-piece camcorders. The footage is used to produce a half dozen 30-minute weekly TV shows that will air next season.
ETN is known for its creation of compelling elements and features that capture the essence of the Philadelphia Eagles and the team’s fans with programming that includes the “Eagles Locker Room” magazine-style show; “Inside the Eagles” with on- and off-the-field features and an in-studio player guest; “The Donovan McNabb Show” with a weekly feature that profiles the quarterback and his teammates off the field; “The Eagles Kids Club” with animated hosts; “The Andy Reid Show;” and the “Eagles Football Frenzy” highlights show.
The shows air September through January on a variety of networks, including FOX Philadelphia, ABC affiliate WPVI-TV and Comcast SportsNet. “The Eagles Kids Club” has such widespread appeal that FOX broadcasts it all year. All the shows will air in HD coming this fall.
According to ETN VP of broadcasting Rob Alberino, the HPX3000 cameras produce “an outrageously beautiful image” and characterized the solid-state P2 HD format as “a flexible, strong platform.”
ETN purchased 20 32GB P2 cards and has three shooters working non-stop with the cameras. The HPX3000s are outfitted with Canon HJ 22x7.6 HD lenses and W80 HD wide-angle adapters. The network currently shoots in 1080i DVCPRO HD but plans to transition to AVC-Intra shooting later this year. Alberino also bought a 1lb AG-HSC1U AVCHD camcorder for use as a POV camera in vehicles where players are strapped into tight spaces.
Alberino currently has more than 30 projects on his production slate, ranging from covering players in their hometowns all over the country to acquiring behind-the-scenes footage at a cheerleaders’ calendar photo shoot in the Dominican Republic. While ETN is now in a heavy acquisition mode, P2 cards are being downloaded to 500GB Western Digital hard drives. Segments and elements will be edited on Avid systems, and program masters will reside on an Avid Unity media network. Footage will be archived on Quantum LTO drives.