HBO Boxing lands knockout blow with Inertia high-speed camera

By Andrew Lippe

HBO World Championship Boxing scored a one-two punch with viewers on Nov. 4 thanks to Inertia’s Phantom v10 X-MO high-speed camera. Used during Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s welterweight championship win over Carlos Baldomir at the Mandalay Bay casino in Las Vegas, the camera delivered cinema-like images as the high-speed camera captures shots at 500 frames per second.

“The X-MO creates a slow mo shot right out of Raging Bull,” says John Micale, HBO Boxing VP of sports production. “With this camera fans can really see what happened in the fight.”

Expect the Phantom v10 X-MO camera to step into the ring again this weekend for a fight from Madison Square Garden. The robotic camera captures the action in 15-second segments on EVS HD-LSM video servers located inside NEP Supershooter SS19.

Other gear in the production includes a GVG Kalypso HD switcher and nine Thomson LDK-600 mkII cameras, a lipstick camera and the Panasonic HDC-910 CableCam camera. HBO also used Avid graphics systems and Sennheiser microphones with Telex ear pieces for commentators.

Getting the right sound is paramount in boxing and to add more sound on punches HBO uses two fish pole microphones. “For the first time ever we had a [Big Ear LVR] overhead parabolic mic as well,” says Micale.

While the Inertia camera worked HBO wasn’t as lucky with CableCam, used during the fight to grab beauty shots from above the ring. Micale says the camera is better suited for outdoor venues. “We were limited by what we could do because we were indoors,” he says.