By now I’m sure most of you have heard about all of the renovations and improvements at the Durham Bulls Baseball Stadium. What you may not know is that along with the stadium improvements, we also had a complete rebuild and upgrade of the Television Production Facility.
The new layout of the stadium meant relocating the press box, including all of our TV equipment. We decided that this would be a great opportunity to also do a re-design of the layout of the TV production area. This new design is a much more efficient use of space but it also includes improved lighting and sound conditioning.
Besides the new layout, we also added quite a bit of new equipment. One of the most important additions is a new instant replay system that simultaneously records from four different cameras at once. It can then playback any (or all) of those cameras during a replay.
We also added two new robotic cameras that are located in each of the dugouts. These cameras are primarily used to isolate on certain areas for replays, but they’ve also proven useful in getting many other shots on the field.
Another new camera that’s made quite a difference is a wireless, roving camera. This camera can get shots from just about anywhere in the stadium and without being tied down to a cable.
With these new additions, we now have a total of nine cameras to choose from when producing a broadcast.
One of the most visible changes in the stadium this year is the new giant, high resolution video screen in left field. Once you’ve got a big new video screen, you’d better have lots of good video and graphics to show on it. For this reason, quite a bit of new equipment was also added to the Bulls’ Game Operations area. Some of this new equipment included their own production switcher and instant replay system.
We also wanted to give the folks in “Game-Ops” access to all of the cameras and equipment that we use for the TV production. To accomplish this, the new design included a much more integrated system where everyone in both operations could share all of their resources. This has worked out very well and improved the capabilities of both operations.
Our TV production of the baseball games is seen throughout the stadium, on WRAZ’s channel 50.2, and on Time Warner Cable channel 323 throughout much of North and South Carolina. As always, the TV production crew is completely staffed by members of Explorer Post 50. These are 14-20 year old students who are interested in getting experience in live TV production.
Along with the upgrades in our technical facility, we also wanted to do everything we could to improve the learning experience for the students. Early in the season, we brought in Johnny Tyous of Top Spin Productions in Charlotte to work with our crew to improve the broadcast. Within a few weeks, we started to see these improvements on the air.
Later in the season we also added Curry Leslie as a consultant to Post 50. Curry had worked for several years with the major networks in TV production early in his career before becoming a teacher of TV production at Enloe High School. The combination of his TV and teaching experience has also done quite a bit to improve the game broadcasts.
Thanks to FOX 50’s Jimmy Gamble for this capcom story & for these capcom photos.