(SECAUCUS, New Jersey--March 14, 2008) The Philadelphia Eagles may have hung up their cleats after the Pro Bowl last month, but Rob Alberino, Vice President of Broadcasting for the Eagles Television Network (ETN), and his staff of award-winning producers/videographers continue to work year-round to create original programming.
Since early in 2008, ETN has been shooting all its features, interviews and show elements in high-definition with three Panasonic AJ-HPX3000 native 1080p one-piece camcorders to create a half dozen 30-minute weekly television shows that will air during the next football season.
In its 12th season, ETN has been nominated for 106 Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards, winning 32, since 1997. The network has also won 53 prestigious National Telly Awards. ETN is known for its creation of compelling elements and features that capture the essence of the Philadelphia Eagles and the team’s fans in programming that includes: the Eagles Locker Room, a magazine-style show; Inside the Eagles, with on and off-the-field features and an in-studio player guest; The Donovan McNabb Show, with a weekly feature that profiles the quarterback and his teammates off the field; The Eagles Kids Club, with animated hosts who jam pack this Emmy Award-winning show with football info, drills and the search for a Pee Wee MVP; The Andy Reid Show, the Emmy Award-winning coach’s show; and Eagles Football Frenzy, a highlights show.
The shows air September through January on a variety of networks, including FOX Philadelphia, ABC affiliate WPVI-TV and Comcast SportsNet. The Eagles Kids Club has proved to have such widespread appeal that FOX broadcasts it all year. All the shows will air in HD coming this fall.
“Previously, we shot in Digital Betacam or Betacam, but we knew it was time to transition to high-definition production,” said Alberino. “Our owners, Jeffrey and Christina Lurie, are not only progressive in every area of the organization, but they’re also in the movie business - he’s a producer and she is an independent filmmaker. After we did our research, it was easy to persuade everyone at the organization that the HPX3000 represented the highest standards among HD cameras.”
“The HPX3000s produce an outrageously beautiful image, and P2 HD is a flexible, strong platform,” Alberino said. “We like the fact that cameras are switchable between AVC-Intra and DVCPRO HD, and the five-year warranty is a terrific benefit.”
ETN purchased 20 32GB P2 cards, and has three shooters working non-stop with the cameras. The HPX3000s are outfitted with Canon HJ 22x7.6 HD lenses and W80 HD wide-angle adapters. The network presently shoots in 1080i DVCPRO HD, but plans to transition to AVC-Intra shooting later this year. Alberino also bought a one-pound AG-HSC1U AVCHD camcorder that he will use for POV shots in vehicles such as racecars and helicopters, i.e., tight spaces where players are strapped in for feature shoots.
“An early HPX3000 shoot was the Pro Bowl in Honolulu,” Alberino recounted. “It was essentially a case of taking the camera out of the box, slapping on a battery and exposing it to heat, sun and sand, really pushing it to its limits. It performed flawlessly.”
“The camera has film-like shutter controls, which we used for time-lapse recording of a sunrise over the mountains in Hawaii,” he continued. “We went from the darkest darks to the brightest sun, and the images are beautiful.”
“Since then our shooting conditions have ranged from bright, snowy days in Pennsylvania to a dark, dank interior (a detention center where a former player is the director of programs) with no windows,” Alberino said. “The camera balanced everywhere we went.”
Alberino currently has more than 30 projects on his production slate, ranging from covering players in their hometowns all over the country to acquiring behind-the-scenes footage at a cheerleaders’ calendar photo shoot in the Dominican Republic. While ETN is now in a heavy acquisition mode, P2 cards are being downloaded to 500GB Western digital hard drives. Segments and elements will be edited on Avid systems, and program masters will reside on an Avid Unity media network. Footage will be archived on Quantum LTO drives.
For more information about the Philadelphia Eagles Television Network, visit http://www.philadelphiaeagles.com/multimedia
About the AJ-HPX3000
With three 2/3” high-density 2.2-megapixel CCDs, the HPX3000 captures cinema-quality images in full-raster 1920 x 1080 resolution with 4:2:2 10-bit sampling, utilizing the powerful, new AVC-Intra codec. The HPX3000 offers intuitive film camera-like operation with advanced gamma settings, including Film-Rec mode (made popular by the VariCam). Designed for episodic television, filmmaking and commercial production where mastering quality is essential, the HPX3000 records in industry-standard DVCPRO HD at 1080 in 24p, 25p, 30p, 50i and 60i, and in AVC-Intra.
AVC-Intra, the industry’s most advanced compression technology, provides high-quality 10-bit intra-frame encoding utilizing the Hi-10 and Hi-422 profiles of H.264 in two modes: AVC-Intra 100 for full-raster mastering video quality and AVC-Intra 50 Mbps for DVCPRO HD quality at half the bit rate, thereby doubling the record time on a P2 card. For added flexibility, the HPX3000 can also produce standard definition recordings in DVCPRO50, and is 60/50-Hz switchable for worldwide use. For more information on the HPX3000, visit http://www.panasonic.com/broadcast
About Panasonic Broadcast
Panasonic Broadcast & Television Systems Co. is a leading supplier of broadcast and professional video products and systems. Panasonic Broadcast is a unit company of Panasonic Corporation of North America. The company is the North American headquarters of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (NYSE: MC) of Japan, and the hub of its U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. For more information on Panasonic Broadcast products, access the company’s web site at http://www.panasonic.com/broadcast