Super Bowl XLVI, What’s AV Got to Do With it?

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him…A LOT! We’ll all be watching the Super Bowl in less than a few hours~ snacking and yelling at our display of choice (like we could do any better 🙂 But, what does it take from an AV video production crew perspective to pull off this game? For NBC, it takes 450 staff, 40 cameras, 60 miles of cable, and 29 trucks and trailers. To get started…

This is the Cannes Film Festival of sports broadcasting. Think I’m kidding. NBC’s producer, Fred Gaudelli, is a 10-time Emmy Award winning master, who oversaw ABC Monday Night Football duties beginning in the early 80’s. Until that is, he assumed the role of Executive Producer to bring us NBC’s Sunday Night Football in 2006. Gaudelli has worked with the best of the best and produced breathtaking, nail-biting sports coverage since it began. I mean, this guy was just getting in the business when instant reply could have helped Houston in the 1979-80 AFC championship game. NBC went as far as to send Patriot and Giant playbooks to local Indianapolis high school football teams last week. The teams studied and performed a “dress rehearsal” of the big game last Friday.

So, what’s new this year with the Super Bowl we can get excited about. How about 4 NAC Hi-Motion II cameras developed in cooperation with Ikegami. These cameras will deliver the ultimate in slow-motion replay camera technology. At a price tag of $300K each, these 3-chip CMOS sensor capable cameras have increased sensitivity to light that captures up to 10x HD crisp, exact images at 1,000 per frames per second with 1080p resolution. No, I didn’t mistype there. It’s predecessor used in the 2008 Beijing Olympics captured 600 frames per second. It’s a big deal when you stop and think of motion picture movies and the standard definition film is captured at 30 frames per second.

Fletcher Camera & Lenses Rental Company believes in this technology enough they bought 12 cameras at the tune of 3.5 million dollars–4 of which will be used in Super BowlXLVI. In a recent press release, VP Dan Grainge said, “”Number one is the superior image that we saw in the Hi-Motion II cameras during side-by-side testing with other high-speed cameras. You can get great images out of both single-chip and three-chip cameras, but I can tell you that the three CMOS sensors in the Hi-Motion II cameras provided a clarity improvement and a detail enhancement that is better than their competitors’ cameras.”

These cameras are so new that no marketing video exists to demonstrate its qualifications. 2011 saw some 111 million people watch the Super Bowl. With the advent of social media and the Internet, the number is sure to increase. As AV professionals, I’m sure we’ll all be watching the quality of the AV as much as we will the game!!!

Let us know what you think about the coverage, impressed or just another game? Better yet, whose gonna win?!?