Back9Network Gets Two Studios In One

To coincide with its launch on DIRECTV, U.S lifestyle golf channel, Back9Network, gave itself an onscreen makeover mixing virtual and hard set designs. Versatility and variety had to be key components in the studio set to accommodate different elements, different talent, and quick turnarounds. FX Design Group started on the designs in 2012 but various challenges and changes cropped up throughout the process to meet the September 29, 2014 launch date.

FX Design selected a Hybrid tracking solution working with three Grass Valley LDX Compact Première cameras. Two are mounted on Hybrid’s robotic P/T/Z/F Titanium heads. It also features Hybrid’s Chrome robotic jib, which offers six axes of movement and is controlled by Hybrid’s Cobalt control console.

Hybrid's robotic tracking systems claim zero delay in video and audio by using its own realtime graphical rendering engine (branded Krypton).

“We wanted our set design partner to understand the atmosphere we were looking for to provide a balance to both enhance our storytelling and yet present an environment that reflects our home in Hartford (Connecticut),” commented Carlos Silva, president and COO, Back9Network.

The channel went on air with three live daily programs (The Turn, Off Par and The Clubhouse), each requiring different on-set technology to deliver the story and with less than 30 minutes turnaround between shows.

“It is evident that virtually created environments have gained acceptance from viewers,” said the channel's VP of engineering and operations Harry Goldberg. “It’s a stunning integration and provides us with the opportunity to develop further environments around new programming in the future.”

Added Kevin Vickers, FX senior design manager. “The large set and the small set had a continuous theme. The dark, rich woods, the rustic brick the lighting and reclaimed wood floors.”

The virtual set with Grass Valley LDX camera on a Hybrid robotic camera support

The virtual set with Grass Valley LDX camera on a Hybrid robotic camera support

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