Polecam captures the entire stadium
Following the company’s success in providing HD cameras to Camera Corps for last year’s World Cup in South Africa, Polecam has productised what it refers to as its Goalcam/Stadium Camera System, selling units to SIS LIVE and M-Net amongst others.
The system comprises three Toshiba IK-HR1S cameras: two lightweight Goalcams are fitted with Theia 125° low-distortion lenses, and a Stadium Camera unit carries a 170° fisheye lens. The cameras are ⅓-in. single-chip HD models, which, according to Polecam, allows the use of ultra-wide-angle lenses with excellent corner resolution. A small downconverter, priced about €500, can also be used to produce SD-SDI signals where required.
The Goalcams are mounted on a special bracket equipped with a weather housing, which allows them to be hung on the goal net on a single point. This means that the camera restabilises quickly after the net has been hit and also moves quickly out of the danger area if it comes into contact with a player. The 125° lens allows the entire goal to be seen even when the image is cropped from 16:9 to 4:3 aspect ratio, enabling the commentators — if not currently the officials — to report accurately if a ball has indeed crossed the line.
The weight of the sub-500-gram Stadium camera, meanwhile, not only allows flexible deployment but also means that health and safety concerns can be effectively managed.
Crucially, all three cameras are controlled by the Polecam RCP (which can, in fact, control up to five cameras from the one panel, allowing additional cameras in the players’ tunnel, dressing room, etc., without taking up more space in the truck). Each camera has a data receiver for total camera control as well as being fitted with a motor for direct iris control, and the data signal can use standard audio cable or even be sent wirelessly over an ordinary radio mic with no modifications to the signal. The signal can also be embedded and de-embedded into the standard HD-SDI video stream and converted to fibre.