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College Football Preview 2022: SEC on CBS Gets Going With New C360 Pylon Cams, AR Graphics


College Football Preview 2022: SEC on CBS Gets Going With New C360 Pylon Cams, AR Graphics The schedule begins with Penn State vs. Auburn on Saturday, Sept. 17 By Kristian Hern ndez, Senior Editor

Friday, September 16, 2022 - 10:55 am

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SEC on CBS, in its penultimate season, will wow at-home viewers once more with a pair of innovations. Beginning with tomorrow's Penn State vs. Auburn matchup in Jordan-Hare Stadium at 3:30 p.m. ET, the coverage will deploy C360's new wired Pylon Cams with pan-tilt-zoom control in 4K, and augmented-reality (AR) virtual graphics.

We've been waiting for SEC Saturdays for a long time, says Steve Karasik, VP, remote production, CBS Sports. We're excited to see what the next few months of college football will bring to CBS.

Testing and Development: C360 Pylon Cams Give Coverage a Fresh Look Seen during the network's NFL opening weekend, C360's wired Pylon Cams debuted on CBS's college-football coverage with Arizona vs. San Diego State on Sept. 3. The equipment comprises four separate cameras within the pylons - two for each end zone - and provides the production team new ways to show pivotal plays at the goal line. To enhance SEC coverage, the operations team replicated the technology seen on pro football.

New C360 wired Pylon Cams at each end zone provide 4K video with PTZ capability.

We are extremely excited to see pylon-camera technology continue to evolve, says Jason Cohen, VP, remote technical operations, CBS Sports. The advances by our partner, C360, allow us to seamlessly pan, tilt, and zoom as action transpires in the end zone and thus no longer edit or cut multiple angles together. The 4K camera provides a unique field of view of nearly 200 degrees, so we are capturing a tremendous amount of field action with one lens.

From a production perspective, adding these new elements to the broadcast will accentuate the growing number of technologies seen throughout the season. In addition to the Pylon Cams, SEC on CBS broadcasts will tap into more than 20 camera feeds. Highlighting the arsenal for this weekend's opener in Auburn, AL, will be a drone from Kaze Aerials, a fixed-wing airplane for more aerial shots, a wired Sony HDC-F5500 as the shallow-depth-of-field camera, four specialty cameras with super-slow-motion capabilities, and a Sony HDC-P43 as the four-point Skycam.

Director Steve Milton can take Skycams, drones, and specialty equipment and make it feel like an organic part of our coverage, says Karasik. Between Steve and [producer] Craig [Silver], it really is a cohesive unit that is always making decisions to do what's best for the broadcast.

AR View: Fans To See Information in a New Way With Virtual Graphics Broadcasts around the industry have slowly integrated virtual graphics, and CBS Sports will do the same this year for SEC on CBS. Its internal production team, CBS VFX, has provided engaging graphics for other high-profile events under the CBS umbrella, including the 2022 Men's Final Four. Building on Trackmen real-time 3D tracking technology and live video feeds from Skycam, the broadcaster is mapping out each venue to apply the augmented-reality overlays on the live crowd feed. Working closely with Lead Analyst Gary Danielson, the crew is putting together virtual graphics that are both aesthetically pleasing and statistically relevant.

Gary is extremely involved in the production and is invested in every graphic, says Karasik. it's great to have an analyst who's not only passionate about the sport but also passionate about the televised product.

Creatively, the production team is showcasing the pomp and circumstance of the sport with a handful of activations along with the graphics. Some visuals will include team mascots, logos, and other elements.

We're trying to have some fun with our design, says Karasik. We want to capture and lean into the fandom that you usually see in college football.

Onsite and Remote: Hybrid Environment Features Mobile Units On the technical side, CBS Sports will leverage a hybrid workflow for each week's SEC Game of the Week. The onsite team for Penn State-Auburn will be housed in F&F Productions GTX20 A and B units. Replay operators will be working on six 12-channel EVS XT VIA servers; graphics operators, on eight separate machines.

F&F Productions GTX20 mobile unit is onsite at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, AL, for Saturday's Penn State-Auburn matchup.

With onsite infrastructure much larger than that used during the pandemic, the broadcaster will deploy much smaller remote workflows for the college-football slate. Like CBS Sports' NFL team, the college-football production crew will receive Hawkeye replay services from two offsite staffers. Overall, Karasik relies on the expertise of the operations team - Cohen; VP, Talent, Production Planning and Technology Development, Ross Molloy; VP, Engineering and Technology, Mike Francis; and others - to tell the story of a game in a compelling yet understandable way.

We want the technologies to enhance what we're doing and not overwhelm the audience, says Karasik. In the end, the coverage of these games is what fans are looking for.

More Collegiate Action: CBS Sports Network To Air 70 Games This Season Aside from the SEC power teams on the main linear channel and Paramount+, CBS Sports Network (CBSN) will pack a hefty punch this fall. Besides 70 games, including selected UConn home games, the network will carry 15 telecasts of the U.S. Service Academies (six for Army, five for Air Force, four for Navy, and the three Commander-in-Chief's Trophy games) and matchups from Conference USA, Mid-American Conference, and Mountain West Conference. The 2022 Conference USA Championship Game will be aired for the fourth conse
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