College Sports AV Departments Rely On Bexel ESS For Remote Camera Installations

As college media departments face the difficult and costly task of covering their sports teams’ practices and games with minimal resources, they are increasingly installing remotely controlled camera systems operated by a single staff member or small production team.

Bexel’s Engineered Systems and Solutions (ESS) division has been busy at Michigan State University and Notre Dame University installing Panasonic PTZ cameras and control units to get the job done efficiently and cost-effectively for the Spartans’ football team and the Fighting Irish’s lacrosse teams.

John Mills, director of business development, Bexel ESS, said the new systems help sports organizations leverage video as a tool for more effective coaching and player/team performance.

“For both Michigan State and Notre Dame, we were able to get creative and design camera placement solutions that met their unique requirements and worked within existing constraints in each arena,” Mills said.

The coaching staff for the Michigan State University Spartans wanted to add a second end zone camera in Spartan Stadium to aid in practice sessions and also to study the movements of the team and its opponents during games. Since the stadium design would not allow for an additional camera platform, Bexel ESS designed a custom pole for mounting a single pan, tilt, and zoom camera high enough to clear the video ribbon board and provide the optimal camera angle. The fully weatherproof camera system is connected via single mode fiber to a patch panel for video and control, and a custom-designed case houses the camera control equipment.

Bexel ESS designed and built a portable camera control case at Michigan State that is easy to set up — operators simply roll it out and connect it to the fiber patch panel and power, and they’re good to go.

Bexel ESS designed and built a portable camera control case at Michigan State that is easy to set up — operators simply roll it out and connect it to the fiber patch panel and power, and they’re good to go.

“Now that we have cameras on both end zones, our coaches have a much more comprehensive view of the action during both practice sessions and games,” said Matt Harper, director of technology, Michigan State Spartans. “And we love the camera control case. The Bexel ESS team put a lot of thought into its design, and it's extremely easy to set up — our operators simply roll it out and connect it to the fiber patch panel and power, and they're good to go.”

Bexel ESS installed two remote cameras in the University of Notre Dame lacrosse stadium, and also designed and built a camera control system for the lacrosse teams. One camera is mounted on the top of the stadium wall to provide a sideline view via CAT6, and the other is mounted on an existing pole in the end zone that is also in use for a football camera. For the end zone camera, Bexel ESS provided a fiber connection to the video control system.

Connor Sullivan, director of women's lacrosse operations for the University of Notre Dame, said the Bexel ESS team came in, analyzed the facility, and figured out how to use existing structures for simplicity’s sake, and for time and cost savings.

“We've worked with Bexel ESS on numerous projects in the past, including design and construction of our football video control offices, so we knew we were in good hands for the installation of these new cameras,” Sullivan said. “And now our lacrosse coaches have an enhanced ability to view team activities from multiple camera angles and capture the video for later analysis.”

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