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NFL's Carolina Panthers Upgrade to HD with Nucomm CamPac2 Wireless Camera System for In-House Game-Day Video

The Panthers purchased two complete RF systems, including Nucomm‘s CP2 camera-mounted transmitters and DR2 diversity receivers with camera control

When the Carolina Panthers put the finishing touches on the HD upgrade to its in-house video control room, just in time for the start of the 2012 NFL football season, it turned to Nucomm’s CamPac2 (CP2) wireless camera system for its wireless transmission needs. The Panthers purchased two complete RF systems, including Nucomm‘s CP2 camera-mounted transmitters and DR2 diversity receivers with camera control. The new RF system, along with a custom remote-location antenna mounting, provides the team with reliable, solid wireless coverage throughout Bank of America Stadium, including in locations not previously accessible.

The Carolina Panthers employ the two CP2 systems during in-house game-day video presentations as well as sideline game coverage. The wireless systems are also used for pre-game activities, including a tunnel walk with the players, on-field presentations, the national anthem and the coin toss. During the game, the wireless systems are the main components for fan cams as well as such fan-participation experiences as awarding prizes. Wireless systems give game-day directors more flexibility in providing a different perspective on the field, in the stands and around the stadium than static cameras located in traditional “hard” positions.

“I am familiar with Nucomm products as a result of my previous years in local TV broadcasting,” says Berkley Dickens, Broadcast Engineer, PantherVision/Panthers Broadcast. “I spent time at the NAB show discussing our needs with the sales team and decided that the Nucomm system would best meet the demands of creating a fan-centered experience at the stadium. I know that other teams throughout the NFL have chosen the Nucomm systems, and their positive feedback also helped in the decision-making process.”

As part of the installation, the antennas were mounted on an interior wall facing the field. The receivers were mounted in the control room, located on the 400 level. The location of the antennas with respect to the control room made the wiring simple, and the system provides coverage of the entire seating area as well as the concourse area.

Nucomm’s CamPac2 (CP2) wireless camera system is a tri-band-capable unit that operates in the unlicensed 5.8-GHz band, as well as the licensed 6.4- and 7.1-GHz bands, without the need for any hardware changes. The Panthers will operate their CP2 systems within the 5.8-GHz license-free spectrum. 

The DR2 diversity receiver is an updated model of its industry-leading predecessor, the Newscaster DR, and offers newer features, including “intelligent” block-down converters (BDCs). The DR2’s BCDs communicate with the DR2 receiver to control various operating modes. They also give the DR2 the capability to remotely extend its antennas up to 1,000 feet (using Belden 1694A cable), complete with DC power from the receiver. Other features, such as a built-in (in-band) spectrum analyzer, telemetry video overlay display and high front-end overload rejection, make the DR2 a very robust, formidable RF system, well suited for the rigorous demands of remote sports production.

With the DR2, operators have the option to choose from different versions of power amplifiers for the CP2 and complementary BCDs for the DR2, allowing the units to operate within a wide range of frequency bands, from 1.99 to 7.1GHz, depending on ordered options. This makes these units truly world-class products that can be used virtually anywhere.

“We installed the system this past July, so this will be our first season using it,” adds Dickens. “We have been very pleased with the coverage so far this season. We now are able to interact with our fans in all sections and that is very important to ensuring that all 73,000 plus fans all get the same experience.”

About Integrated Microwave Technologies, LLC
Integrated Microwave Technologies, LLC (IMT) is a Business Unit within the Vitec Group’s Videocom Division. The company comprises the leading microwave brands Nucomm, RF Central and Microwave Service Company (MSC), offering broadcasters worldwide complete broadcast solutions. Nucomm is a premium brand of digital microwave video systems (including COFDM and VSB) for portable and fixed link applications. RF Central is an innovative brand of compact microwave video equipment for licensed and license free broadcast applications. MSC is a premier provider of engineering, integration, technical support, installation and commissioning services. IMT is an ISO 9001:2008 certified QMS organization and recipient of multiple industry awards for design and innovations.

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