May 28, 2024
Imperx Customer Interview: BBG Sports Uses High-Speed Imperx Cameras to Enhance Tennis and Cricket Broadcasting

 

 

 

Imperx Customer Interview: BBG Sports Uses High-Speed Imperx Cameras to Enhance Tennis and Cricket Broadcasting

May 28, 2024 BOCA RATON, FLORIDA  

We caught up with our customer Warren Brennan from BBG Sports to learn more about the use of Imperx high-speed ruggedized cameras at the Australian Open and what’s happening in the world of sports broadcasting technology.

Q. Warren, please introduce yourself and give a short history of BBG Sports?
A. I have been involved in the Sports industry since 1988, mainly in the technology space. I cut my teeth for Tennis Australia at Melbourne Park building the real-time information systems that deliver score information during the Australian Open tennis event. Following that I moved into the broadcast television space providing similar systems but this time for the game of cricket for the Australian broadcaster Channel 9. The ironic thing is that our latest tennis project has seen us return to Melbourne Park for the first time in 15 years working for Tennis Australia and their host broadcaster Channel 9. A great honor indeed to be involved again with these two fantastic clients at such a great event.

Q. A key breakthrough product of BBG Sports was the Hot Spot system. What is the Hot Spot and how did it change cricket?
A. Hot Spot was a brand-new innovation developed by BBG for Channel 9’s broadcast of cricket back in 2006. It incorporated infrared cameras that were able to identify heat signatures when a ball would hit a bat. Eventually this technology was incorporated into the Decision-Review-System for cricket therefore becoming part of the adjudication system for the ICC Umpires and continues to this day.

Q. Who are the typical customers of BBG Sports?
A. The main clients over the years have been Fox Sports Australia, Channel 9 Australia, Sky UK, Sky TV NZ, SuperSport in South Africa and Tennis Australia.

Q. What types of products and services are offered by BBG sports today and how are they different from products or services offered by others in the sports broadcasting technology space?
A. BBG has predominantly been an R&D company building innovative new products from the ground up that have never existed before. For example, the Australia Open system has allowed for small high-speed cameras (425 fps @ 1080P) to be placed in the four corners of the court to enable a completely new perspective of the sport. There have been plenty of high-speed cameras available over the years, but none had ventured into the same space as our Comet system to provide something completely new for tennis. It was also used in Cricket for Fox Sports Australia. The COMET system uses high-speed CMOS cameras from Imperx, most recently the C1941 camera.

Q. What are the special requirements for cameras used in sports broadcasting applications?
A. Small, fast, extremely reliable and incredibly ruggedized, particularly in regard to temperature ratings that affect image quality.

Q. How did the Imperx cameras specifically help you to meet the application requirements?
A. By setting very strict quality requirements in regard to heat ratings this has enabled us to use the cameras in the hottest places possible without the need for external enclosures or chassis’ that has kept our footprint to a minimum and allowed us to put the cameras in the best places possible for fan engagement.

Q. Can you give some examples of sporting events where BBG Sports systems using Imperx cameras were utilized?
A. The Australian Open tennis used 12 Imperx high-speed C1941 cameras running at 425fps @ 1080P resolution. These were utilized on Rod Laver Arena, Margaret Court Arena and John Cain Arena with 4 cameras in the corners of each running for the entirety of the tournament that added hundreds of replays to the tournaments broadcast.

Q. What kind of feedback have you received from users of the BBG products that incorporate Imperx cameras?
A. The fans of all sports are the ultimate judges of what is really great and they tend to express themselves through social media and this is where we received enormous accolades for our Comet system during this year’s Australian Open tennis.

Q. What are the key trends in sports broadcasting and what vision-related technologies or advancements will be most important?
A. The machine vision industry is very innovative constantly adding new image sensors with larger resolutions and faster frame rates to solve all sorts of industry challenges. Our goal is to piggy-back of these advances in technology and take them to the sports industries to give the fans the greatest innovation possible.
Q. At what events in 2024 should we be watching for the use of BBG Sports technologies?
A. I can’t say just yet....

About Imperx, Inc. Imperx, Inc. is a leading global designer and manufacturer of superior quality digital imaging products and software. With headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida and a distribution network that spans the globe, Imperx provides high-reliability imaging solutions worldwide in aerospace and defense, machine vision, transportation, engineered systems, and automation. Sign up for the Imperx newsletter at https://www.imperx.com.

Press inquiries:

Melissa Pangburn
Imperx, Inc.
[email protected]
+1 561 989 0006 x116