Sony XDCAM captures Miami Heat

The NBA’s Miami Heat recently purchased Sony’s newest optical disc camera, the 2/3in PDW-700 XDCAM camcorder, and a PDW-HD1500 deck to use as its primary video production system.

The Heat first used Sony’s HD gear during the 2008 NBA Europe Live Tour, a series of exhibition games the league organized to expand the sport’s visibility to international audiences. The entire trip was documented on video, and the team realized the value of the technology.

The Heat’s production facility is still SD; however, executives said having an HD master is important to preserving the team’s history in long-term archival form. The first footage of the 21-year-old Heat team was recorded in 3/4in U-Matic. Most of that footage has been transferred to digital optical discs for preservation.

The team said the XDCAM system allows the simultaneous use of SD and HD to be carried out cost-effectively. (The team plans a full HD upgrade later this year.) The new camera will be used for in-arena and Web site use as well as for the team’s “Inside the HEAT” program that is played on the LED board during games and on FOX Sports Net. The footage is also used to distribute content to digital signage displays located throughout the American Airlines Arena, the Heat’s home court.