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LiveSports Switches to Panasonic AK-UB300 4K Box Cameras

Texas-based live sports broadcast company LiveSports, has recently switched out its previous generation of Panasonic AJ-HPX370 P2 HD camcorders for the AK-UB300 4K multi-purpose cameras mounted on robotic motion control heads.The initial application is for coverage of pro tennis tours.

LiveSports LLC are using six Panasonic AK-UB300 4K box cameras at the core of their coverage of professional tennis tours (ATP and WTA) on behalf of its client, IMG Gaming. “IMG Gaming had asked us to start producing in 4K in anticipation of eventual 4K broadcasts,” said LiveSports’ president Jef Kethley. “We chose the UB300s based on native 4K acquisition, the ability to paint the cameras over IP, compact ergonomics and our years of successful collaboration with Panasonic.”

LiveSports uses a mixture of converters to take the 4K output and convert it into NDI IP video over the network. Once the cameras are recognized as a video source, they are accessible to their NewTekNewTek IP Series Video Mix Engine switcher via the network. Using the NDI protocol over IP gives the company more flexibility to route them to multiple devices in their truck.

Kethley describes a grueling schedule on a 45-week tour that chases hot weather and regularly serves up a succession of daily matches lasting from 9 a.m. till 11 p.m. “Since installing the UB300s, we no longer have any camera operators court-side cooking in the sun. We very quickly went to fully remote production from our production buses at the venues,” he explained. “For the recent Chicago, Binghamton and Lexington tour legs, we were more remote than ever, running the production and controlling some of the cameras from our Network Operations Center (NOC) in Texas. That is truly remote production.

While LiveSports feeds outlets such as ESPN and the Tennis Channel by way of satellite truck uplinks, its main audience is internet-based, with live video transmitted from a dedicated server setup to overseas gaming houses throughout Europe and Asia. (Tennis is one of the world’s most popular sports for on-line betting, only outpaced by professional soccer.)

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