When the Philadelphia Eagle’s Lincoln Financial Field was originally being built, HD Video technology was in its infancy. Since then, Lincoln Financial Field has been ever evolving with major renovations to the seating areas and addition of more luxury boxes. The Eagles are no stranger to using HD equipment and has had HD cameras for a while, but now that HD technology has matured, it’s become time for them to completely upgrade their production control room to be fully HD and 4K capable.
In anticipation of their eventual control room upgrade, the Eagles have rented Wave Central RF systems in the past from CP Communications. Now with their HD upgrade migrating them up to 4K capability, they were concerned about making a long term investment on the then available technology. They needed a system that could handle the increased resolution their new 4K cameras would produce. Various RF manufacturers were invited to demonstrate their solutions to the Eagles. When it was all over, the wireless camera system of choice was Wave Central’s Axis series. Besides having very robust signal coverage throughout the stadium and concourses, they chose the Axis system, because of the outstanding image quality that the system’s H.264 AVC-Intra MPEG4 encoder produces. This is 2nd generation H.264 MPEG4 compression technology and does not produce “wipes”, “smears” or other “blocking” artifacts associated with other types of MPEG4, when used in low delay mode.
How we met our client's needs
As with most NFL teams today, the Eagles wanted to embed their RF cameras with the team, as they walked out from their locker room and into the stadium. At Lincoln Financial Field, the team’s locker room is located down a long tunnel with a couple of sharp turns and no clear line of sight to the antennas, before getting out onto the field. For this reason, we employed an AXRX6 receiver with six antenna inputs to be able to increase the required coverage. The Axis series receivers can have their antennas extended up to 1000 feet on 75 Ω, RG6 type coaxial video cable. For this stadium, we placed four antennas to cover the field and the other two antennas were remotely mounted, via the RG6 coaxial cable to locations within the tunnel. The end result was seamless RF coverage from deep within the locker room area, through the tunnel and right onto the field without any RF signal break up.
During our system commissioning “walk-about” test, they eventually took both cameras outside the stadium and into the parking lot. Even though there wasn’t any line of sight to the antennas, they were still able to get a strong signal back into the control room. The Eagles demanded superior RF coverage, as well as outstanding image quality for their new stadium. Wave Central’s Axis systems exceeded everyone’s expectations.