GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA – As the remote broadcast coordinator at the University of Florida (UF), Kyle Monroe and his Gator colleagues engineer and produce all of the ESPN/SEC Network and the GatorVision VideoBoard broadcasts for many of the school’s Division I sports, including men’s and women’s basketball, football, baseball, softball, volleyball, gymnastics, soccer and lacrosse. In an effort to bring viewers closer than ever to the action and provide angles never before attainable, the University turned to the CV343-CSB and CV502-WPMB compact broadcast POV cameras, and CV-RCP-100 camera controller from Marshall Electronics.
Working out of control rooms located in the College of Journalism and Communications, the sports programming makes up roughly 90 percent of the department’s annual broadcasts. The UF broadcast team also gets tapped to engineer and produce other UF events, such as commencement, convocation, the homecoming parade, TEDxUF and other unique shows. That’s why using the right cameras is essential.
“We currently use the Marshall CV502-WPMB waterproof camera and the Marshall CV343-CSB camera with multiple lens options for various configurations,” says Monroe. “We also use a mixture of magic arms, mini magic arms, super clamps and magnets with quarter-inch threads to position them on basketball stanchions, drop ceilings and just about anywhere else we need them.”
One of the more popular uses for the Marshall Electronics POV cams are the two upper “Slamcams” during basketball games. The “Slamcams” are used primarily for action above-the-rim including slam dunks, rebounds and foul shots. “I use the Marshall CV343-CSB with a Fujinon YV2.7x wide angle lens,” adds Monroe. “I mount these to some of the stanchion hardware using a Magic Arm with safety chains. In addition, we also have two lower “Slamcams” located below each backboard that mainly show action in the paint, out-of-bounds calls, fouls, etc. I mount these in an opening in the middle of the arm of the stanchion using a mini magic arm and a magnet with a quarter-inch thread. The stanchions are all steel, so the magnet was a perfect solution to mount a camera in a tight location like this one.”
For men’s basketball games, the team also puts a Marshall Electronics CV343-CSB (known as “Gatorhead”) POV camera in the hallway where the team huddles prior to running out. Monroe uses a drop ceiling scissor clamp and mini magic arm to mount it from the ceiling. Monroe also deploys these cameras for women’s basketball and volleyball as it’s a great look for when the teams run out onto the court and for celebrations at the end of a big win.
“Since we do so many broadcasts inside of our multipurpose arena, the Stephen C. O’Connell Center (also called the ODome), all of the setups for basketball are semi-permanent,” says Monroe. “I’m able to build these cameras, safety chain them to the stanchions or the drop-ceiling and leave them almost year-round. This significantly cuts down on setup and strike time and is one more piece of gear we know is going to function every time we fire up our control rooms for a show.”
The University of Florida broadcasts usually have anywhere from two to five Marshall Electronics POV cameras on every one of its shows. “The Marshall POV cameras are discrete,” adds Monroe. “With a larger broadcast camera, both hard and handheld/RF, they take up a lot of real estate and can be complicated to maintain at times. Cameras of this size are really easy to work with, all season long.”
Given the number of CV343-CSB cameras used in the ODome, Monroe recently implemented the Marshall CV-RCP-100 Touchscreen RCP Camera Control for receiving RS485 data from all Marshall cameras. “Giving paint and iris control to our V1 in our control rooms was really valuable in getting every camera to match. One of the challenges of getting this RS485 data back to our control rooms was getting it onto our fiber infrastructure. However, I reached out to some of Marshall’s engineers and they highly recommended the Questtel RS485 data over fiber convertor. It’s worked really well for us!”