January 22, 2011

Polecam GoalCam + StadiumCam

Polecam has announced a three-camera package for sports to cover action in either goalmouth and give a wide view of the stadium.

The new GoalCam and StadiumCam are designed for efficient outside broadcast coverage of stadium sports such as rugby, soccer and hockey. The lightweight systems are claimed to be easier to install and dismantle than traditional heavyweight kit.

The package consists of two GoalCams and one StadiumCam. Each camera uses a 1/3-inch CMOS HD-SDI imager allowing the use of ultra-wide-angle lenses with high corner resolution. Both GoalCams are fitted with 125º low-distortion lenses giving images of the entire goalmouth without the barrel distortion commonly experienced at such wide angles.

The StadiumCam is equipped with a 170º fisheye lens and, like the GoalCams, can deliver 1080i line resolution at 50/59.94Hz. An optional downconverter is available to provide SD-SDI output where required.

All three cameras plus two auxiliary cameras can be controlled from a single Polecam RCP remote control panel. The GoalCams and StadiumCam have individual data receivers allowing full control of camera functions, including motorised iris adjustment. The data signal can be sent along standard audio cable, over optical fibre or via a radio microphone link. Control data can also be embedded into, or extracted from, an HD-SDI stream.

Each GoalCam is supplied with a fully adjustable bracket and a weather housing, available in white or carbon fibre effect. The bracket allows the camera to be positioned in the corner of a goal and will re-stabilise quickly if the net is struck by a ball. Suspended from a single point, the mount is also designed to prevent injury by flexing if a player collides with it. The 125º lens allows the entire goalmouth to be seen even when the output video is cropped from 16:9 to 4:3. This gives commentators the ability to report accurately that a ball has indeed crossed the line.

Weighing less than 500g, StadiumCam can be positioned overhead, at a halfway line or at a corner of the pitch. With five megapixels equivalent optical resolution, its 170º lens allows the entire crowd and stadium to be encompassed in a single view. The size and weight of this system should make it easier to pass health and safety requirements than traditional cameras.

Polecam's three-camera system will be introduced at BVE 2011 in London, 15-17 February (stand B10).

By David Fox

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