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Live From NBA All-Star 2024: Live RefCam, LED Court Are Ready for Primetime

16/02/2024

Live From NBA All-Star 2024: Live RefCam, LED Court Are Ready for Primetime Innovation will be evident at events all weekend By Ken Kerschbaumer, Editorial Director

Friday, February 16, 2024 - 9:34 am

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The 2024 NBA All-Star Game Weekend tips off today in Indianapolis, and sports-production professionals will want to tune into everything from the NBA celebrity game tonight to the big game on Sunday night to witness truly game-changing innovations. Topping the list? MindFly's bodycam and the ASB Lumiflex LED court that will be deployed at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Set for a busy weekend of innovation: (from left) NBA's Dave Barry, Ken DeGennaro, and Barney Carleton

The Lucas Oil Stadium technical facilities will rely on the NBA's HSAN remote kit. This is the second one we built; we had one at the Summer League, notes Dave Barry, SVP, broadcast operations and engineering, NBA, adding, We're using dark fiber between the venues, our operations, and TNT to network audio and video.

MindFly will be worn by a referee at events on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, The bodycam is embedded in a vest worn under the shirt (a hole in the shirt allows the camera to capture the action), and a transmitter will get live signals to the production team.

We're working on some other opportunities with other All-Star Weekend participants as well to get never-before-seen bodycam footage, says Barney Carleton, senior director, broadcast planning and strategy, NBA. We've done testing with the referees specifically as it relates to the fit of the vest, getting it on them and making sure the weight of both the camera and the live transmitter isn't impeding their ability to make calls.

The RefCam will be in action at the Rising Stars game on Friday, the Skills competition on Saturday, and the All-Star Game on Sunday.

The EuroLeague has found success with the MindFly bodycam, which makes the leap to the NBA this weekend.

We're still working through exactly what the executions are, says Carleton, but we're hoping to get the interaction between the players and the referee [in the event of a] jump ball, that type of thing. With all the player microphones, he adds, we will be able to pick up some of the conversations as well. The camera itself does have a microphone, and we could use that embedded audio if we need it, but we will use our regular referee mic for the highest-quality audio.

The other major technical highlight will be the ASB Lumiflex LED court, deployed at Lucas Oil Stadium for Friday and Saturday action (Sunday's game will be played at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on a regular NBA court). Scheduled to be played on the LED court are the Ruffles NBA All-Star Celebrity Game on Friday and State Farm All-Star Saturday Night, which comprises the Kia Skills Challenge; the STARRY 3-Point Contest; Stephen vs. Sabrina, the first-ever NBA vs. WNBA 3-Point Challenge; and AT&T Slam Dunk.

Use of the court will be heavily influenced by the NBA All-Star brand rather than being gratuitous, according to Ken DeGennaro, SVP, media operations and technology, NBA. The LED court allows display of live replays and video content, real-time game stats, location-based player-tracking animations, interactive games for fans during timeouts, and immersive animations following key plays and moments. For a preview of what the court is capable of, click here.

It really pops, DeGennaro says. When you're sitting about halfway up in the stands, you get the right view of what it can do. It's going to make for a great event.

Animations on the LED court will give the NBA Skills competition a next-gen look.

The league, TNT, and ESPN have worked together to make sure the court looks great both on the broadcast and for fans in the stands (the good news for the latter is that the worse your seat, the better the LED-court viewing experience).

There are a lot of moving parts, including the buildout of a court in a football venue, Barry explains, but it's always great to work with our broadcast partners. The LED court is also integrated with the NBA stats system so there is a lot of potential for it to go well beyond on-court logos and animations.

ESPN will get the first shot at using it, at the Celebrity Game on Friday, he continues. They're looking at different camera angles and different things they can do to showcase the court.
LINK: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2024/02/16/live-from-nba-all-star-live-ref...
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