Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Baltimore Orioles fans experienced Oriole Park at Camden Yards in a whole new way when the 2009 baseball season began thanks to the debut of a new HD digital production system designed and built by Communications Engineering Inc. (CEI). The Maryland Stadium Authority, which operates Oriole Park at Camden Yards, brought in CEI to upgrade the existing analog facilities to a modern HD production facility. The new system can originate HD programming to the stadium’s new HD LED video displays. The system also generates two new HD channels to add custom HD content to the in-house cable system. The project resulted in a modern-day event presentation that incorporates the latest HD capabilities. The new system includes resources to receive and record HD video and audio feeds from network television production trucks, as well as video signals from the dedicated video replay system, graphics system, cameras, satellite receivers, and other external audio and video sources.
CEI was responsible for developing engineering and operational information, while producing conceptual and detailed designs for the Oriole Park control room requirements. The project included generating floor plans, signal drawings, schedules and power requirements, as well as designing operating consoles, furniture and interfaces to existing systems. The system is designed to integrate with the HD broadcast trucks at Oriole Park, as well as Major League Baseball’s Advanced Media initiatives. CEI also performed complete integration, testing and training at Oriole Park, while providing equipment and project management services for the entire modernization process, including schedule and budget controls. The system features new routing and production switching systems, monitoring equipment, fiber transmission equipment, intercom system, and HD cameras.
The project involved the first update of the control room since the stadium opened in 1992. One of the main goals was to improve the workflow in the room, and this was accomplished with more efficient digital equipment, improved consoles and a more effective layout. The existing control room was completely gutted to accomplish that goal. A key challenge was the presence of numerous trades in and around the control room at the same time CEI’s work was in progress. The deadline was firm, because the facility had to be ready in time for opening day of the baseball season.
Another obstacle was the relatively low ceiling in the control room, which meant the monitor wall and racks had to be carefully designed to accommodate the space. In addition, a new HD video board had been installed at Camden Yards two years earlier, but the systems were still analog, which resulted in a more cumbersome workflow. The upgrade not only eliminated that problem, but also included a file-based workflow system that allows easy audio and video clip storage and playback. Plus, the new control room features a multiviewer at every operator position, allowing many sources to be easily viewed and managed from anywhere in the room. The end result is a more efficient system and a greatly enhanced experience for the fans.
New studio technology — nonbroadcast
Submitted by Communications Engineering, Inc.
Maryland Stadium Authority: Vince Steier, tech. mgr.
CEI: Frank Giliotti, VP president of tech. services; Brad Hughes, proj. mgr.; Felix Pena, dir. of mechanical eng.; Matt Weiss, sr. managing eng.
Technology at work
Avid: Deko on-air graphics
Canon: HD lenses
Click Effects: HD Crossfire touch-screen special effects system
Evertz: HD monitoring and processing equipment, VistaLink frame controllers and alarm monitoring equipment, HD/SD-SDI reclocking distribution amplifiers, Xenon router, 64 x 64 dual audio router, VIP-X system
Ikegami: HLM-2400 multiformat monitor
Image Video: Tally system
RGB Spectrum: Two-window display processors
Ross Video: Vision 3 switcher
Sachtler: System 90 tripod
Sony: HD cameras, HD tape decks, video monitors
Tektronix: Waveform monitors
Telex: Zeus II intercom system
TV One: Converters
Wohler: Audio and video monitors