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In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By patrickbll409
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Have you watched a major sporting event and wondered how the cameraman achieved some of those unbelievable angles? Well some of those angles aren’t captured with someone directly behind the camera. In fact, there is a clever device that is flown on wires and controlled by a remote. You’ve seen it in action and it’s known as Skycam. Compared to the old recordings from the sidelines the Skycam nearly puts you right in the huddle (Chandler, 2014). Someone with less knowledge about recording devices wouldn’t have the faintest idea of the components that go into Skycam. There was an evolution that occurred with the Skycam, and it all began with the Steadicam. Simply put, a vest carried a camera that was counterbalanced in order to eliminate hand shake and vibrations from a basic cameraman (Chandler, 2014). America wouldn’t be satisfied for long and this is what inspired the need for a bird’s eye perspective. After the debut of Skycam in the early ‘80s it didn’t receive much attention until 2001 (Chandler, 2014). It was then that grand scale events would deploy these cable-mounted camera systems (Chandler, 2014). Skycam technology is the forefront of televised mass-media and doesn’t come at a cheap price. Most big-time sports leagues are able to use Skycam because the amount of viewers they bring in help pay for this technology (Chandler, 2014). To setup the camera for this broadcast you need four high points surrounding the area. Underneath these points you need coils of Kevlar-reinforced rope. Having Kevlar rope makes it so that there is less susceptibility to weathering if an event occurs in any extreme conditions. One may think that with all of the cables reeling back on the camera that there would be a shaky video resolution. This is why each Skycam employs gyroscopic stabilizers so you aren’t exposed to a gut-churning picture (Chandler, 2014). To tie the entire process together you need a central computer which controls the path of the camera and takes input from the operator for proper viewing pleasure (Chandler, 2014). With a sophisticated device like this you should make sure all safety precautions are met. Though Skycam has strong cables reeling it back and forth there is always a chance something can happen. You may find reported cases of a screw coming loose or a cable snapping. No one can take into account what might happen but improvements are made each and every day. Someone interested in this technology would be an up-and-coming team owner ready for that next step into stardom.

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