FSU Seminoles expand HD ops with Panasonic P2, Grass Valley, and Harris

By Andrew Lippe

Florida State University has joined the long list of college universities who have upgraded their video production to HD. The FSU Seminoles underwent a renovation that included the implementation of four Panasonic AJ-HPX2000 2/3-inch shoulder-mounted P2 HD cameras. The cameras have been used to shoot the Seminoles weekly highlights show, “Seminole Sports Magazine in HD” on Fox Sports Net/Sun Sports as well as capture HD images for the video boards for Seminoles football, baseball, and basketball.

“Next season we are upgrading our football video boards to HD, so we wanted to be ready for when we go to a full HD production,” says Mark Rodin, director of Seminole Productions. Rodin, who also serves as an instructor for advanced production and editing classes at the University, says the P2 cameras multiformat capability were a perfect solution for their move to a total HD workflow.

“The new Daktronics video boards will be close to triple the size of our current Mitsubishi OptiTech boards,” says Rodin.

Rodin says FSU selected the Panasonic cameras because the cost of P2 cards has fallen. The costs of the P2 cards retail around $900 but originally cost well over $1,000. To further the HD production FSU also upgraded its control room with a Grass Valley Kayak switcher, a Harris Inscriber for graphics and, coming next season, an EVS replay system. They also implemented Telecast fiber optics to better connect the stadium for video transmission.

Rodin, who purchased four 16 GB P2 cards, says they will probably upgrade to a 32 GB card in the future, doubling the storage capacity.

But while their video production is tapeless that doesn’t mean tape is dead at FSU. “The fact is we still send out shows in Betacam,” adds Rodin. “A tapeless system for archives is a great unknown.”