Gravity Media collaborates with Dream Chip to create NetCam

Gravity Media has integrated the Atom One Mini Air from Dream Chip into its NetCam to create a new way to serve the sports industry and capture in-the-moment action. The integrated camera has already been deployed at a number of global tennis events – mounted directly to the net.

The technology collaboration represents Gravity Media’s desire to provide clients with increasingly creative and innovative means of broadcasting the excitement and action of live sports, and to deliver tools which allow producers to capture action from more involved positions, giving a clearer and crisper picture of the action.

The NetCam with Atom One Mini Air integration is unobtrusive and lightweight, utilising the Mini Air lens that is little bigger than a one euro coin and weighs just 25 grams, but is capable of delivering 10-bit colour depth and 1080/60p/i output to a 1/2.5in sensor, with rolling shutter, S-Mount lens and HDR compliancy. The housing for the camera built by Gravity Media and the use of lightweight but robust materials ensures that the camera is able to endure the shocks of impact on the net, where balls can hit at speeds of up to 117mph, without signal loss.

By being mounted on the net, viewers are able to appreciate with greater detail the tiny margins of precision for each shot. Application is not limited to the net, however, and cameras can be placed in other unusual positions – such as near ball boys and girls, court lines and umpires – to give alternative, PoV perspectives on the action. The cameras integrate with a wider production setup, allowing for a range of angles to be covered and managed through a single network backbone and controller.

Speaking of the integration, Tony Valentino, head of RF & special cams for Gravity Media, said: “We were confident from Dream Chip’s reputation that they could help us to deliver real innovation for our clients, but having tested the Atom One Mini Air in the field, even our initial expectations were surpassed. We were overwhelmed not only at the quality and reliability of the image produced – especially in such challenging, rugged conditions – but also at how the clarity and unique positioning of the camera enhanced the overall production our clients were able to deliver. Indeed, they were eager to keep the camera on-site for longer than their initial one-day trial.”

Dream Chip director of sales Stephane Ducobu said: “We love to be able to work with innovators such as Gravity Media, who share our belief that cameras are creative tools first and foremost, and that technological development should always serve to enhance and expand the creative options available to broadcasters. Net-mounting presents a range of complex challenges from a technological standpoint, but Dream Chip’s focus on component quality, robustness and miniaturisation make Atom One cameras ideal for this kind of application.”

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