Case Studies: University of St. Thomas (U.S.A.)

High Definition Coaching Analysis Proliferates
Throughout U. of St. Thomas' Varsity Sports
with Panasonic AVCCAM Recording

AW-HE50S camera outdoor housing.

POVCAM (AG-HCK10, AG-HMR10) for coaching analysis.

By Ronald Riley, Production Manager, and Gary Shulzetenberg, Associate Director of Media Services, University of St. Thomas

The University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN) is the largest private university in the state, with more than 10,500 undergraduate and graduate students. We are an NCAA Division III school and a member of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Men and women compete in 20 varsity sports, and more than one third of all undergraduate students participate in intercollegiate varsity or club competitions.

During the past year, we have made a large-scale investment in Panasonic gear, including six AW-HE50S cameras with HD SDI outputs, two mountable AG-HCK10 HD camera heads (POVCAMS), AV-HS400 and AW-HS50 switchers, and five AG-HMR10 handheld AVCCAM HD solid-state recorders, our chief recording device. The predominant utilization is for coaching analysis. The low-cost and extreme portability of the Panasonic equipment translate into more varsity sports reaping the benefits of HD coaching video. What’s more, our entire athletic complex is wired for HD SDI and IP control, which means we can operate any of the HE50S cameras from any internet jack in the building.

Overall, we feel that we have been able to implement a cost-effective, highly sophisticated system that would be the envy of much larger universities.

The HMR10 handheld recorder, incredibly portable at 1 1/2 pounds, puts the flexibility of recording and viewing high quality 1080 /720 AVCHD content literally in the palm of your hand. The battery-powered HMR10 can be teamed with the HCK10 Full HD POVCAM to form a point-of-view camera/recorder system. And because it’s equipped with an HD SDI in/out, the HMR10 can also serve as standalone recorder for any HD SDI-capable camera, such as the HE50S.

As we write this, we are coming to the close of a successful football season that took full advantage of the HMR10’s capabilities. Two of the HE50S cameras in Panasonic’s "cool dome" outdoor housings are permanently installed in the football stadium, one at the end zone and one at the 50-yard line. During practices, the video staff would have two HMR10s in the press box taking HD SDI feeds from the cameras. For practices, we record at the HMR10’s lowest recording HE mode, approx. 6 Mbps, to take advantage of the long recording times (up to 12 hours on a 32GB SD card). During home games, the videographers would be able to record the play on a HMR10 while sitting indoors in their offices. (Games are recorded at the higher-quality PH, 21Mbps mode.)

For away games, we would take our two POVCAMs on the road, and place one on a tower in the end zone, the second on a tripod on the 50-yard line, both recording to an HMR10. During all games, at half-time we would start downloading footage into our coaching software, Hudl from Agile Sports. Within hours (or by the time the team was riding the bus home) we would have the game fully loaded and tagged for the coaches.

We also use two of the HMR10s teamed with the POVCAMs on rolling production systems we call "coaches’ carts" that we can shuffle among discrete sports’ practice venues. Indoor track and diving have made ample use of these carts. Diving has come up with an innovative implementation whereby the POVCAM is outfitted with a wide-angle lens and is turned on its side, recording to the HMR10 poolside to capture the diver as she enters the water.

The size, quality and versatility of the HMR10 have transformed the way we look at sports video at St. Thomas. The AVCCAM recorder is a perfect fit within our athletics-wide HD SDI operation and lets us record from anywhere in the building. It can take a feed from our pan/tilts, from our production room, and, of course, is ideally partnered with the POVCAM. AVCCAM HD production is the way we intend to move forward.

* The Users Reports provided aboveis correct as of the time of publication. Note that information such as company and organization names may no longer be correct.