Live from the World Cup: TV Skyline Robotic Cameras Play Big Role On, Off Pitch

Germany-based TV Skyline has a big presence here in Brazil for the World Cup with specialty cameras in all 12 stadiums. “Overall we are providing more than 180 cameras,” says Robert Kis, TV Skyline, managing director. “We have also provided more than 200 fiber-based systems for signal transport for the cameras and 12 triax-based systems for the 12 tactical cameras.” Those are mounted on the roof of each stadium overlooking the pitch from behind one of the two goals.

Other cameras include a camera with an extremely wide-angle lens for beauty shots from the top of the stadium as well as a the BoxCam that is mounted to each goal, InGoals that are attached to the net of the goal, and the TunnelCam that is installed in the tunnel leading to the pitch. And then there are between six and 20 ComCams for commentary positions that move between each stadium (a total of 80 are in Brazil).

And lastly, there is a presence outside of the stadiums as two are in Rio for beauty shots of the city’s iconic landmarks and then two additional cameras are in Rio for daily FIFA briefings and press conferences.

“The beauty shot from Sugar Loaf mountain in Rio is a robotic camera that is installed on top of a skyscraper,” explains Kis. “The video and audio signals are sent by RF to Copacabana Beach four kilometers away and then from fiber to the IBC another 25 kilometers away. The control for pan, tilt, zoom and all other remote camera functions are controlled from the IBC, including the remote control of a spinning glass that keeps raindrops off the lens.”

All the robotic cameras and advanced controls makes one wonder just how much unmanned cameras will impact manned camera positions but Kis says that if a long lens is involved you still need a person at the back of the camera.

“Robotic cameras are ideal for installation in places with limited space and dangerous places,” he adds. “You can also be very efficient with robotic cameras as we show with our commentary solution. There we can operate 10 or more cameras with one person.”

And, as always, an event like the World Cup provides a greater understanding of what is coming next.

“We are still listening to the market and we want to learn more during the next weeks to continue the improvements,” says Kis.

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