Tethered Drone, Operates from a Boat off the Northern California Coastline, To Offer Unique Views of Pebble Beach
LOS ANGELES – FOX Sports continues its industry-leading production technology development, with additions and upgrades in place for its coverage of the 119th U.S. Open Championship from Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, Calif., from Thursday, June 13 to Sunday, June 16 on FOX, FS1, FOX Deportes, FOXSports.com and the FOX Sports App.
“We are planning our most comprehensive and technologically advanced U.S. Open to date, matching the excitement level surrounding the championship being held at iconic Pebble Beach,” said Zac Fields, SVP Graphic Tech & Innovation, FOX Sports. “We’re constantly improving the viewing experience of this great event and the FOX Sports team is excited to offer viewers more dynamic experiences from the golf course than ever before.”
FOX Sports remains at the forefront of ball-tracing technology in 2019, as the network equips the teeing ground on all 18 holes with Trackman radar technology. Nine holes are equipped to show viewers a standard ball-trace over live video, with enhanced club and ball data. The remaining nine holes will display Emmy-nominated FOX FlightTrack, a live trace over a graphic representation of the golf hole, offering more perspective to the viewer. All 18 holes will have the ability to insert a real-time live carry distance.
Three roaming wireless RF tracers will work to provide ball tracing on approach shots. There will also be FlightTrack for fairways shots on two holes, Nos. 6 and 14. New this year will be a mobile tower camera equipped with Toptracer technology, also positioned on No. 14, allowing for more dynamics within the shot. Unlike most tracer shots, where the camera must remain still, this camera will allow FOX Sports to pan, tilt and zoom to see the ball as it comes towards the camera.
Just a few weeks ago, FOX Sports’ Shane Bacon and Joel Klatt played a round at Pebble Beach and discussed No. 14’s difficult approach and tough green, offering insights on what to expect from the pros at the U.S. Open: https://vimeo.com/340574507
FOX Sports’ image capture continues to evolve at the U.S. Open, with the most 1080p HDR cameras in place for any live event in the U.S. ever, placing over 50 cameras across the course, and in each tower camera and blimp to help capture the stunning beauty of Pebble Beach.
Alongside this technology is the new penalty area camera system, which houses three cameras for over 210 degrees of capture alongside the out of bounds markers at holes Nos. 4 and 5.
As FOX Sports has done since its USGA debut in 2015, live replay coverage of the event continues to capture every camera across the course simultaneously with 178 record channels and 54 playout channels.
A Pebble Beach first, FOX Sports will deploy a live tethered-aerial drone camera to be launched and operated from a boat along the coastline at Pebble Beach, giving the viewer unique live action on the course.
In addition to its television broadcast and featured groups and holes streams, this year FOX Sports introduces a new “USGA Practice Tee” channel, which is focused on the driving range and uses Toptracer Range technology for added insight as players warm up. Fans at Pebble Beach will see players’ shots being traced on LED boards at the range, while the broadcast and all streaming channels will be able to go into greater detail on swing technique, ball flight and more. Streaming feeds are available on FOXSports.com, the FOX Sports App, DirecTV and USGA.org.
Continuing to develop elements in augmented reality (AR) that offer viewers greater context, FOX Sports will be using various shots from multiple blimps and cranes to layer graphics on top of video, including, but not limited to, wind direction and speed, player on-course location and course statistics.
In addition to the new “USGA Practice Tee” channel, the “Featured Holes” channel gets an upgrade for 2019. Data from Trackman units on these holes will be displayed on the streaming feeds in real-time. Viewers will see data for live shots along with more advanced statistics throughout the championship.
In preparation for this week’s event, multiple days of aerial production drone flights were completed last week, capturing unique images from each of the 18 holes.
FOX SPORTS U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP TECH LIST
- Staff & Support
- 455 technicians
- 72 support staff
- 66,000+ man-hours over 15 days
- Field Support
- 51 miles of multi-strand fiber optics (over 1,872 miles of actual fiber connectivity)
- 912 strands of fiber optics available across the course
- IP Networking
- 1,056 1Gbps Ethernet ports distributed across the course
- 28 managed network locations
- 94 distinct managed networks
- 6 Gbps of Internet data managed
- 78 Gbps of broadcast data managed
- 121 Total Cameras
- 18 – 1080p wireless cameras
- 6 – 1080p HDR wireless cameras
- 52 – 1080p HDR cameras
- 12 – 100x lens-based cameras
- 19 – 95x lens-based cameras
- 5 – Xmo High-frame-rate cameras (4,000+ fps)
- 2 – Sony – 8x – High-frame-rate cameras (480fps)
- 4 – Cinematic Cameras with FOX Films look
- 3 – RF Tracer cameras
- 2 – Mini portable robotic cameras
- 75’ Strada Camera Crane
- 12 audio consoles
- 232 microphones across the course
- 8 RF announcers
- 18 hole microphones
- 20 RF walking microphones
- Replay / Post Production
- 178 Record Channels
- 54 Playout Channels
- 768 TB real-time storage
- 5 Edit Bays