Devil Rays add Sony XDCAM to its line-up

The Tampa
Bay Devil Rays headed into the 2007 Major League Baseball season with their
usual focus on hitting, pitching and fundamentals. And as the product on
the field is improving, the team’s RaysVision production unit also made its own home improvements:
a new and streamlined SDI video control room and post-production facility
at Tropicana Field.

A cornerstone of this system upgrade is Sony’s XDCAM Professional Disc system,
which was specifically brought on board to accomplish several functions,
including feeding live video to the Rays’ new 35-foot by 65-foot video
scoreboard during games.

According to John Franzone, Rays senior director of creative services and
entertainment, the Sony system is helping to create a “first-class professional
baseball production,” with such features as in-camera editing, thumbnail
previews via an LCD screen and high-speed content transfer to non-linear
editing systems.

“This
type of optical workflow gives us the most flexibility for capturing vibrant
live images for big-screen display during games,” Franzone said.
“Additionally, it is ideal for ‘grab n’ go’ pre-game production with
talent around the stadium, as well as field production around the Tampa Bay
area to capture our many community outreach initiatives.”

Franzone said adding the tapeless technology goes a long way toward “future-proofing”
his operations, especially as his production requirements increase.

The XDCAM system, he said, allows his crews to capture high-quality game-day
footage that they can go back to and easily pull content from to be used in a
variety of purposes: creating highlight reels, promotional videos, ticket
offers and player interviews, as well as commercials for TV broadcast.

According to Franzone, “We needed a format that was robust enough to allow
us to shoot broadcast-quality content either for viewing on Rays’ television
broadcasts, our big screen productions, internal company projects, you name it.
Thus far, we’ve been very pleased with the results. We sought a strong
internal video production tool as well as a workhorse during games, and the
XDCAM system has met all our needs.”

The team also employs Sony’s Professional Disc media and its robust archival
capabilities, which deliver a significantly longer shelf life as compared to
videotape.

“This was key,” Franzone added. The XDCAM system uses Sony’s Professional
Disc media, which the company’s testing has shown can potentially have a shelf
life of up to 50 years, according to Sony testing. The Sony Professional Disc
is more durable than videotape and,based on company testing, it can achieve a minimum of 1,000 write/read/erase
cycles, and up to10,000 cycles under ideal conditions, again based on Sony testing.