Trio Video Drives Blackhawks HD; Fingerworks HD Telestrator Debuts

By Andrew Lippe
Comcast SportsNet Chicago missed out on an-all Chicago World Series when the Cubs and White Sox were eliminated from the playoffs this weekend. So now the network is in hockey mode and, for the first time, all Chicago Blackhawks games will be delivered to fans in high-definition. Also new this year is the Fingerworks HD telestrator, helping Chicago Blackhawks broadcasters analyze the action.
“Both of our NBA and NHL analysts Stacey King and Eddie Olczyk are big fans of teaching the game,” says Jim Corno Jr., senior executive producer of events at Comcast SportsNet Chicago. “Last year, it was used extensively in both the NBA and NHL broadcasts but with SD units, and they were fairly limited in what they could do.”
Fingerworks HD telestrators are portable and include an LCD touchscreen attached to a “lunchbox”-style PC. Features include frame grab, adding text, new animated team rosters, upgraded import-graphics function, Targa animations, a new drawing animation, and erase on untouch.
Trio Video, mobile production unit provider for Chicago Blackhawks and Chicago Bulls home games, will place the telestrator in the United Center announcer’s booth for use during home games.
In terms of game coverage, Comcast SportsNet Chicago uses seven Thomson Grass Valley LDK 6000 WorldCam cameras for home broadcasts, plus an additional four cameras provided by the United Center. Road games will rely on six-camera productions.
Comcast Sportsnet will air 58 Chicago Blackhawks games in HD, 33 home games and 25 road games. Comcast Sportsnet Chicago will also offer multiple Bulls games in HD. “We have made a very strong commitment to all of our pro events for high-definition,” says Corno.
Chicago won’t be the only Comcast SportsNet network to deliver more HD hockey. Comcast SportsNet Philly will broadcast 64 Flyers games in HD, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic will broadcast 50 Washington Capitals games, and Comcast SportsNet Bay Area will air 40 San Jose Sharks games in HD.