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Tampa Bay Devil Rays Add Sony’s XDCam Professional Disc System 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.


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