Flying high over Super Bowl 50 with SkyCam

Multidyne’s fibre-optic signal transport technology will be flying high over Super Bowl 50 (CBS) on Sunday, February 7, installed inside a special housing attached to a SkyCam robotic camera system on cables that gives the games’ producers a valuable tool to provide viewers with a unique bird’s-eye perspective of the on-field action as it happens. The Super Bowl will be played at Levi’s Stadium, in Santa Clara, Calif., home of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers.

The SkyCam ‘WildCat’ system, deployed for many live NFL telecasts each weekend during the entire 2015 season, uses a Sony HDC- P1 box-style camera tethered to a gyro-stabilised, weatherproof housing that includes an HD-3500 Multi–Rate High Definition Fibre-Optic Transport Link from MultiDyne Video & Fiber Optic Systems, a leader in signal distribution over fiber, mounted inside.

“NFL fans at home have become familiar with the distinctive point of view that the SkyCam systems provides, as it adds immense value to the live broadcast of a NFL football game or virtually any sporting event,” said Stephen Wharton, CTO, SkyCam LLC. “The technology inside leverages the MultiDyne Fiber-Optic Transport Link to bring the camera signals up to the control booth and then eventually into the live broadcast. We couldn’t do this without the MultiDyne HD-3500 units, due to their size and capability to maintain the quality of the signal going back to the booth and then on to the production truck on site.”

The MultiDyne HD-3500 Multi–Rate High Definition Fibre-Optic Transport Link, mounted tightly inside the SkyCam housing, converts the SDI video signal from the camera into optical so it can travel across a fiber-optic suspension cable. The camera system is controlled from a control room high atop the stadium or arena, where the MultiDyne HD-3500 RX units receive the optical signal and converts it back to SDI for inclusion into the live broadcast.

For each SkyCam system, there is a link (with an HD-3500 unit at each end) from the flying camera to the stadium control room. Another pair of HD-3500 units is then used to send the signal from the control room to the production truck parked outside the stadium. Sending the signals over a single mode fiber line allows them to travel longer distances than a traditional coax cable could.

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