CP Communications, a leader in innovative solutions and services for live event productions, today announced it is providing wireless RF technology and a camera package to Supracam, a specialty camera system company based in Tulsa, Okla., for live coverage of professional and collegiate basketball this season.
The system was used for coverage of the women’s college basketball Final Four at the Alamodome in San Antonio in early April, and is in place at the Barclays Center for the remaining Brooklyn Nets home games.
Supracam is using CP’s standard Sony HDC-P1R camera package, which includes the compact HD camera, wide angle zoom lens, CP Custom Paint Control to adjust and optimize individual colors, and a Wave Central Pico+ wireless RF video transmitter. Supracam’s RF transmission strategy, which includes frequency selection prior to each game, ensures the best reliability and coverage for live, wireless content acquisition inside arenas where WiFi signals are prevalent.
“Wireless RF offers rock-solid reliability given the maturation of the technology, and that’s where CP Communications’ expertise comes into fruition,” said PJ Bennett, President and CEO of Supracam. “They provide a package that’s essentially configured and built for our specific requirements. We have used that with great success. It’s straightforward and easy to use, and gives us the flexibility we need to wirelessly capture quick-moving action on the court.”
Established in 2014, Supracam provides unique aerial shots for sports and other events with its computer-controlled system, which smoothly moves a camera across cables vertically and horizontally. “This latest system that we’re using here in Brooklyn is specifically designed for indoor events,” explained Bennett. “It’s faster and more agile, which means we can get down in front of the game cameras, capture the shot, and then move up and out of the way.”
Aerial camera systems built for football have a big footprint with large cable reels and controllers, but a basketball arena has more limited space. “Our system has much smaller reels and can be placed in the catwalks,” Bennett said. “That gets the system up and out of the way, which is the key. It’s a very small footprint, with a low impact on the event.”
Usually, the system is set up two days before an event. The first day is spent rigging the system so the lines are in place, while the computer system and camera are connected and tested on the second day. Two people are required to operate the system during the event. The pilot uses a joystick to move the system in two-dimensional space and position the camera to cover the action. The camera operator handles the pan, tilt, zoom, and focus.
“CP’s wireless RF equipment works whether you’re in a small basketball venue or a large football stadium. The real value is having a system that we know is configured for us,” Bennett added. “While the package for our needs is fairly simple, when we need customer service it has been nothing short of excellent. I can always get somebody on the phone, and that allows us to keep moving and get jobs done quicker.”
“As the excitement of live sports as we know it returns, specialized camera systems like the Supracam aerial system help capture that excitement for viewers,” said Aaron Segarra, Vice President of Sales, CP Communications. “We are proud to partner with them and bring these unique visuals to Brooklyn Nets fans through the rest of the season.”