Antelope goes wireless at German Golf

Germany: The UniCredit Ladies German Open Golf has become one of the top events of the Ladies European Tour (LET). Accordingly upscale is the TV production for these games. This year, for the first time the LMC’s Antelope AIR wireless ultra slo-mo camera was used, flanked by two Camaeleon POV cameras. Text: Eckard Eckstein, Medien Bulletin. Translation/editing: Birgit Heidsiek

The high attraction of the LET tournament was proved by 32,000 attendees. On several huge displays at the golf course they got a glimpse of what the Sky Germany viewers experience at home – high resolution golf images in super slow motion, recorded by the LMC highspeed camera Antelope. According to the director Felix Marggraff who produced this event for Sky Germany, this was the premiere of the new LMC‘s Antelope AIR wireless ultra slo-mo camera – both live and at the replay. Equipped with a wireless backpack and antenna, the cameraman of the Antelope and his assistant followed the leader flights and shot the drives. The cameraman had just to point the camera and pull the focus. All the other camera shots could be done via wireless telemetry control in the OB van.

“This has never been done before,” stressed Christian Schreiber, the chief technical officer at LMC. “It is the first time that we control all the settings of the Antelope completely wirelessly and transmit it’s HD signal to the OB van during a live production.”

Schreiber praised the stability of the wireless transmission and the outstanding quality of the images, a result of cooperation between Riedel and LMC. “Riedel enabled us with our Remote Control Panel (RCP), to control the camera data completely wirelessly.”

The system for the wireless control is based on Riedel‘s conductor solution. The small interface of the conductor corresponds bidirectional with all the current Broadcast cameras by Sony, Grass Valley and Ikegami. It is placed in a small lightweight box and can be mounted easily at the cameras. The conductor control data are embedded in a digital audio channel so that the connection of the conductor base station only requires a digital AFS link. Just recently, Riedel had adjusted the telemetry protocol of the conductor system so that it became possible to operate the Antelelope AIR completely wireless.

“This is the first real field test with the Antelope AIR and the system works perfectly,” said Marggraff. “Even the latency you have over the radio has hardly been relevant. The operator in our control truck could operate the camera any time wirelessly,” he emphasised.

This live production was filmed with six wireless cameras. In addition to the Antelope AIR there were four Sony XDCAM shoulder camcorder as well as a POV camera Camaeleon. Another Camaeleon at the tee of hole 15 was directly connected to the OB van via fibre. The Camaleons showed the players at the tee in the front perspective. Both Cameleons were completely operated from the OB van. The cameras are dimensioned for 1080p/50. But it was produced in 1080i/50.

LCM was in charge both of the provision and the operating of the Antelope AIR and the Camaeleon cameras. The company had transmitted the Ladies European Tour (LET) for the Deutsche Golf Sport (DGS) since 2009, but this time Marggraff had to handle an infinite deal more signals at the mixer. The Antelope camera which can record from 25 to 3.000 frames per second was fielded only to show the players. “It doesn‘t make any sense to film the flight of the ball with a highspeed camera. We use the Antelope images for analysis, studies and emotional moments. The flight of the ball is filmed with a traditional Sony HDC-1500,” explained Marggraff.

As the director of the master control room in the OB van ,Marggraff appreciated the sensational images with the Antelope camera but admitted: “Nevertheless we are enthusiastic about the shots with the Antelope, our pictorial design needs to be relevant on sports.”

The ideal art of editing is to show the ultra slo-mo shots which are filmed with the Antelope by blending one drive of a player to the other. “These images are very aesthetic and point out exactly the swing technique of the players,” he says.

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