NMT HD12 makes Masters-ful debut

By Ken Kerschbaumer

NMT’s HD12 production unit made its debut appearance at the Masters in Augusta, GA, for CBS, helping the network deliver true 18-hole coverage of the golf classic that will be a little cool on the course but will no doubt heat up TV ratings. “With 55 hard and hand-held cameras this is the biggest single event in terms of HD cameras,” says Ken Aagaard, CBS Sports SVP, operations and engineering. HD12 will handle the back nine holes while NEP’s Supershooter 24 handles the front nine.

While having HD12 on hand with its fiber interconnects, massive Qustream routing switcher, and ample room in the control room on hand is the biggest change there have been some other changes as well. This CBS is going back to Sennheiser shotgun microphones to add a little more range and fidelity to the audio and the highlight shows on Thursday and Friday night are in HD.

Like last year CBS Sports will be streaming coverage from Amen Corner live to the Internet at www.masters.org. “The streaming is relatively simple,” says Aagaard. It’s produced in a separate control room in an F&F Production truck, pulling in isolated feeds from the cameras on the course. It also has its own announce crew and graphics packages.

“Viewers can see every single shot by every single player,” says Aagaard.

The combination of more than 500,000 feet of fiber cabling laid below the surface across the course coupled with the blooming Azaleas and beautifully sculpted greens and fairways helps deliver viewers a visual experience that is unlike any other in TV sports. “There is no show on TV that matches The Masters,” says Aagaard.