Sales and operations professional joins CP Communications’ growing staff in key Senior Account Executive role

St. Petersburg, Florida — CP Communications, a leader in innovative solutions and services for live event productions, has appointed Ian McKelvy as Senior Account Executive, AV and Broadcast Services, effective immediately. Reporting to Director of Sales James Monroe and VP of Sales Aaron Segarra, McKelvy will focus on business development around CP Communications’ products and services, including equipment sales and rentals. His initial efforts will focus on broadcast and AV business growth in the greater New York City region.

McKelvy comes to CP Communications with nearly 15 years of sales and management experience in the broadcast and live events space. He spent nearly a decade at Bexel Broadcast Services, working his way up to an Operations Manager role that oversaw key business functions and financial performance. He most recently managed technical sales for Jetwave Wireless’ RF audio business, where he spearheaded product sales, packaged wireless rentals and frequency coordination for distributed antenna systems in the New York City region.

McKelvy’s extensive experience with RF and wireless systems makes him a perfect fit for CP Communications, renowned for its RF content acquisition and broadcast coverage expertise for professional sports and live events. As CP Communications increasingly leverages IP and bonded cellular technologies for these same purposes, McKelvy sees an opportunity to position the company for a much broader array of business opportunities.

“The availability of RF spectrum continues to shrink across the country, which is affecting how companies like CP Communications approach live production,” said McKelvy. “My experience in RF frequency coordination and design will bring value to their more traditional services, as the industry learns how to more efficiently manage our shrinking RF spectrum. However, the growth of their Red House Streaming (RHS) solutions for IP, cloud and bonded cellular networking provides an innovative response to the challenges our customers face in live production, while providing a more efficient price point that will attract a much broader customer base.”

McKelvy points to his experience with large-scale frequency coordination projects, including New Year’s Eve in Times Square, as particularly valuable experience as he joins CP Communications. He also has extensive experience supporting large corporate events – one of many AV verticals that CP Communications is bullish about as their RHS solutions come to market. CP Communications’ homegrown range of RHS STREAM production packages comprise four options to cover single-camera shoots and multi-camera productions, and stream acquired content in real time to multiple viewing platforms. CP Communications is also the exclusive distributor of Mobile Viewpoint products in the United States.

“Ian brings a rare blend of customer and technical skillsets to CP Communications that will benefit our traditional RF, and burgeoning IP and bonded cellular businesses,” said Monroe. “His industry relationships and business development skills will also introduce our innovative RHS solutions and services to new customers in several key growth markets. We are thrilled to welcome Ian to the growing CP Communications team.”

Live event production leader will emphasize AI, bonded cellular and content acquisition innovations from its Red House Streaming family of homegrown and Mobile Viewpoint solutions

CP Communications, a leader in innovative solutions and services for live event productions, will emphasize key AI, bonded cellular, and content acquisition solutions from its Red House Streaming (RHS) family at NAB New York this month. CP Communications exhibits at Booth N910 at NAB New York, which takes place from October 16-17 at the Jacob K. Javitz Center in Manhattan.

CP Communications last year launched its RHS brand to accommodate the convergence of IP, cloud and bonded cellular technologies in live broadcast and production. The family is anchored by the company’s homegrown range of RHS STREAM production packages, which comprise four options to cover single-camera shoots and multi-camera productions, and stream this content in real time to multiple viewing platforms. All STREAM production and streaming packages feature encoding and decoding technology from Mobile Viewpoint, a Netherlands-based developer of IP solutions for Media & Entertainment companies. CP Communications is the exclusive distributor of Mobile Viewpoint products in the United States.

“CP Communications has led the industry in RF-based live content acquisition for almost three decades, specializing in video and audio coverage for many of the world’s largest sports events,” said Kurt Heitmann, CEO, CP Communications. “In alignment with the industry’s shift toward IP and cloud-based workflows, we have aggressively adopted IP and bonded cellular technologies for our own projects and innovated new solutions that our broader customer base can benefit from. At NAB New York, we will focus on cost-effective, networked solutions to benefit news production workflows, at-home productions and other remote content acquisition and live broadcast needs.”

Automated News and Live Content Acquisition

The VPilot automated studio solution provides broadcasters with an intelligent, cost-effective solution to automate live news and sports desk programming. The VPilot platform integrates Mobile Viewpoint’s Virtual Director software, which employs AI technology to autonomously and accurately capture news and sports anchors in the studio, and then automatically switch between this content and live interviews from the field. CP Communications will equip the VPilot set with four PTZ cameras and a Dante audio network, with VPilot’s voice and facial recognition technologies automatically switching, controlling and analyzing video and audio signals captured through Production STREAM.

Production STREAM is the largest of four packages comprising CP Communications’ RHS STREAM production solutions, and can accommodate productions with up to seven cameras and live streaming support. Introduced at the 2019 NAB Show, the compact studio-in-a-box system integrates Mobile Viewpoint encoding and decoding, Simplylive video switching, bi-directional Dante audio networking, and Dante-enabled stageboxes and audio mixers. Production STREAM provides the flexibility for local or remote camera control, both enabled through a browser-based interface and accessible through Mobile Viewpoint’s TerraLink-M encoder.

The RHS brand represents CP Communications’ strategic direction as both a supplier and service provider, with options to rent or purchase any of the four RHS STREAM packages. All RHS STREAM packages are simple to deploy and control, with set up completed in a matter of minutes. The result is a range of scalable, cost-effective solutions for remote and at-home productions that eliminates expensive system design and specification, integration and commissioning requirements.

CP Communications will leverage MultiDyne’s “mobile marketing van” for smaller live productions; partnership will be on demonstration at NAB New York

CP Communications, a leader in innovative solutions and services for complex live event productions, announces that it will add MultiDyne’s 22-foot mobile van to its growing fleet of production vehicles.

MultiDyne introduced the van in 2018 as a “mobile marketing van” that doubled as an exhibition showcase for MultiDyne products at North American tradeshows, and as a mobile showroom for MultiDyne road shows and training initiatives. CP Communications, a longtime MultiDyne customer, recognized an opportunity for both companies to collaborate on smaller live productions, including high school and college sports projects.

“Many high school and college sports venues have live production needs, but lack the workspace to accommodate a flypack or a large truck,” said Kurt Heitmann, CEO, CP Communications. “The MultiDyne van offers the perfect footprint for a four-to-six camera shoot, and solves our problem of carving out a workspace for live productions in tight spaces. It also provide a professional, low-cost acquisition model for our customers working on strict production budgets.”

“We have long considered how the professional design of this van can be leveraged for more than standard road shows and demonstrations,” said Frank Jachetta, CEO, MultiDyne. “Partnering with CP Communications, among the industry’s premier live production companies, offers a compelling way to provide real value to the broadcast and production community, while also ensuring that the CP Communications team has the best that fiber transport technology can offer for live services.”

MultiDyne will equip the van with its latest-generation SilverBack V cameraback systems, VF-9000 fiber transmission platform, and COMMS-300 fiber extenders to interface party-line intercom audio with analog line level signals. CP Communications will use the additional space to customize the infrastructure for each project, including Dante audio networking, Simplylive switchers, and AJT graphics and score bugs among other systems.

“We have a long history with MultiDyne and believe they have the best and broadest range of fiber transport products on the market,” said Heitmann. “The SilverBack systems provide us with the flexibility to convert ENG cameras to broadcast cameras. We will add those systems to our four handhelds and two PTZ cameras to provide plenty of freedom and flexibility for live six-camera productions. The net result is that we can accomplish a quick plug-and-play setup of under two hours, while still having all the power of real-time fiber transport, live switching, and instant replay among other professional systems.”

CP Communications and MultiDyne will demonstrate the applications and technologies for the partnership at the NAB New York show. MultiDyne exhibits at Booth N937, where the van will be on display, and CP Communications exhibits at Booth N910. CP Communications will use its Production STREAM system, a compact studio-in-a-box solution for multi-camera content creation, to transport signals between the van and each booth. Production STREAM is one of four packages comprising CP Communications’ Red House Streaming STREAM production packages, and can accommodate productions with up to seven cameras.

In addition to the van-equipped systems, MultiDyne will showcase its expanded range of audio monitoring and conversion solutions from its recent acquisition of Census Digital. MultiDyne will demonstrate these solutions along other recently-introduced products, including its MD9200 compression family and next-generation SMPTE-HUT camera transceivers. NAB New York takes place from October 16-17 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in Manhattan.

About CP Communications

For more than three decades, CP Communications has provided high-quality, cost-effective live event production solutions to major broadcasters, sports leagues and teams, and event and production companies. Our solutions include access to experienced professionals, state of the art equipment, and innovative technologies and techniques for wireless audio & video content acquisition, transport and delivery. Our culture of innovation, coupled with the highest quality assurance standards and passion for customer service, promote collaboration with our clients to determine the best custom solution for each live event.

About MultiDyne

With over 40 years of experience serving the Broadcasters and video production communities worldwide, MultiDyne Fiber Optic Systems leads the industry in developing pioneering signal conversion and fiber-optic-based transport systems for the broadcast, cable, satellite, production, digital cinema, pro A/V, corporate, retail, surveillance, teleconferencing, judicial arraignment, transportation, government, military, and healthcare markets.

New co-branded RF7 event communications and production trailer will support event security and communications along with audio, video and data for large-scale events.

St. Petersburg, Florida, September 25, 2019 CP Communications, a leader in innovative solutions and services for complex live event productions, has partnered with communications specialist DC Rentals to deliver turnkey AV, content delivery, and security services for large-scale entertainment events. The two companies will support music festivals, sporting events, municipal celebrations and other large outdoor events from RF7, a co-branded event communications and production trailer that brings all required infrastructure together into one mobile command center.

CP Communications and DC Rentals bring complementary skillsets to the table; the former is a renowned live broadcast and production expert, and the latter is a leading, multi-faceted communications solutions provider. The partnership ensures that all technology, crewing and expertise is in one place to support all audio, video, data and content delivery (broadcast, streaming) elements, as well as comprehensive event security and communications.

“The proliferation of large, outdoor live events has created a challenging atmosphere for event hosts because more services and assets are required to cover everything from in-house AV and live event streaming to critical public safety,” said Kurt Heitmann, CEO, CP Communications. “This partnership brings together 60 years of live production and communications experience as a full-service solution that will enhance the consumer experience and attendee security, while reducing the cost and complexity of hiring and managing multiple production teams.”

The 53-foot RF7 trailer comprises an impressive array of technology to fully support today’s largest live outdoor events. Core services include the acquisition and distribution of video and audio content over RF, IP and bonded cellular networks, and a digital trunking infrastructure to support thousands of two-way radios and hundreds of surveillance cameras. A flexible equipment rack and power infrastructure, along with a 50-foot mast, offers a scalable architecture to add and subtract systems and capabilities as required.

The CP Communications foundation includes a video production space and an engineering room to support transmission and surveillance. Heitmann notes that the AV and broadcast/streaming infrastructure includes six video recording systems, each capable of supporting nine camera feeds; a high-density fiber and/or microwave transmission core; and a flexible architecture to integrate audio mixing and recording systems as required.

The DC Rentals team adds comprehensive communications capabilities that include Motorola and Hytera two-way radios and digital trunking systems, and remote IP monitoring of live and recorded video. The latter is achieved both on board and on the move (via iOS and Android mobile devices), with the flexibility to create sophisticated split views and customized layouts on multiviewers inside the command center.

Chris Laquidara, President of DC Rentals, has supported some of the largest events in the country as well as large-scale public safety communications infrastructure build-outs, which strengthens his company’s expertise for live event operations and logistics. DC Rentals recently provided communications and an event production trailer for Boston Calling, a large, annual, multi-day outdoor music festival in one of the city’s busiest areas.

“We recorded more than 119,000 Push To Talk (PTT) transmissions over those four days with no busy-signals and 100% up time despite local power outages,” said Laquidara. “Our experience in producing safe, memorable experiences for tens of thousands of attendees will create an affordable and reliable one-stop shop when combined with the comprehensive, high-quality media and entertainment services that CP Communications provides for every live production.”

The RF7 event communications and production trailer is now available for live event support, and is deployable on short notice with flexible crewing and technical infrastructure to meet any scale.

About CP Communications

For more than three decades, CP Communications has provided high-quality, cost-effective live event production solutions to major broadcasters, sports leagues and teams, and event and production companies. Our solutions include access to experienced professionals, state of the art equipment, and innovative technologies and techniques for wireless audio & video content acquisition, transport and delivery. Our culture of innovation, coupled with the highest quality assurance standards and passion for customer service, promote collaboration with our clients to determine the best custom solution for each live event.

About DC Rentals

DC Rentals is a multi-faceted communications solutions company with nearly 30 years of industry success. From music festivals to political campaigns to marathons, the company works with clients across the nation to fulfill their unique rental needs. With thousands of radios and accessories in stock, DC Rentals can provide communications for an event of any size. The company prides itself on delivering outstanding customer service, cutting-edge technology and competitive pricing.

CP Communications, a leading provider of live event production solutions, recently turned to Pliant Technologies’ CrewCom wireless intercom system to provide proven wireless communication for the recent MLB All-Star Game and surrounding live events, including the Home Run Derby and pre/post-game ceremonies. Providing RF coverage throughout the stadium as well as additional on-site production locations, Pliant’s CrewCom provided a dependable intercom solution for the weekend-long event.

It was of utmost importance for CP Communications to provide the MLB with an easy-to-use system that had virtually no end user learning curve. “Something that has always stood out to me about Pliant’s CrewCom system is that it doesn’t require much effort on the user end. You can pick it up and it just works,” says Michael Mason, president of CP Communications. “CrewCom is lightweight, ergonomic, feels comfortable, and the battery lasts as long as I need it to. I couldn’t ask for more when it comes to a coms system.”

The coverage area needed for the MLB All Star game was fairly large. With its Control Unit (CU) housed in the production truck located across the street, approximately 1000 feet from the house I/O, the system needed to span the distance to the stadium and then also cover several areas within the facility including in the bowl, in the hallways behind the dugouts, the production offices and the service hallway. CrewCom’s new Fiber Hub provided the perfect solution.

Using multiple CrewCom four-volume Radio Packs and ten Radio Transceivers (RTs), the MLB commissioner’s office was able to be assigned to their own production intercom channels while also having a direct line for communications to the television trucks – ESPN for the Home Run Derby and FOX for the All-Star Game. This setup allowed the MLB to seamlessly communicate with directors and producers in the network trucks to ensure a smooth production.

In regards to the system set up, CP Communications depends on the ease of deployment with CrewCom. Additionally, Mason finds CrewCom to be a solid option in the 900MHz spectrum range – helping to avoid overcrowded frequencies. For a given event, CP Communications can use up to 36 Radio Packs with two Control Units. The system can easily be expanded for additional users. Since CrewCom was first released, CP Communications has relied on the wireless intercom system for dozens of live productions, including multiple WWE events including WrestleMania, and the past two seasons of college football with The Big Ten Network, as well as the MLB All-Star Game for the past two years.

“Having the ability to connect the remote antennas directly off of the Fiber Hub increases the usability of the system. You can walk into a facility that is wired with single mode fiber, grab strands and go – there is no need to run additional copper or fiber,” adds Mason. “At CP Communications, we understand how crucial it is to implement reliable communications solutions for live events. We look for the right tool to fit the needs of the client, and Pliant’s CrewCom solves those needs.”

CP Communications, a leader in innovative solutions and services for complex live event productions, exhibited the full power of IP streaming and bonded cellular networking for live sports production at the 13th CrossFit Games, which represents the world championship event for the athletic competition. Contracted by Carr-Hughes Productions, CP Communications provided all content acquisition, networking and delivery services across all areas at the multi-venue, 20-acre Alliant Energy Center complex in Madison, Wisconsin. The complex includes an exhibition center, vendor pavilions, a sponsor’s row, a beer garden and an outdoor competition area – North Park Stadium – built specifically for this event.

CP Communications established a base at the exhibition center outside the Alliant Energy Center, and built a fiber infrastructure from its 40-foot CP-1 Digital Communications Trailer to cover the entire competitive course. The fiber infrastructure also delivered the live event production feeds that were distributed throughout the complex, allowing fans, participants and sponsors to watch the events in real-time. The 13th CrossFit Games took place August 1-4, with a focus on aerobic, weightlifting and gymnastics for the nearly 200 male and female participants.

The fiber infrastructure was based around four, 48-strand fiber trunks to a demarcation point, where anywhere from 24 to 60 fiber strands were run to the various competition and spectator areas. The fiber network accommodated all audio, data, and video acquisition, transport and distribution services required between these locations and CP-1, which served as CP Communications’ production workspace in the broadcast compound. MultiDyne VF-9000 high-density video fiber transmission frames and MD-3000 fiber transceivers were used at all locations to move and process signals between any point, with a Dante® network deployed to support audio and intercom on the same fiber backbone.

CP Communications’ technical personnel covered the event outside using multiple cameras (a mix of wireless RF handhelds, PTZ and POV cameras, and hard cameras on scissor lifts), with Mobile Viewpoint Airlinks used to encode and deliver signals over a bonded cellular network.

“We employed six bonded cellular rigs to cover events outside the Alliant Energy Center campus, including the ruck race and the swimming events downtown,” said Kurt Heitmann, CEO, CP Communications. “All of our wireless audio, communications and video systems worked seamlessly both inside the coliseum and outside at North Park Stadium, including our traditional CODFM wireless cameras. This flexibility is yet another example of our leadership and expertise in building customized, hybrid systems to ensure reliable event coverage across multiple sites. While we remain RF specialists, we can simplify the overall infrastructure and ensure 100 percent coverage by leveraging the power and flexibility of IP and bonded cellular networking.”

The CrossFit organization also served as the World Feed host broadcaster, providing a completely IP-based world feed to various websites and social media services (including YouTube and Facebook) in multiple languages. CP Communications engineers monitored the all fiber, IP and bonded cellular feeds on board CP-1 — including the acquired signals coming back to the trailer, and the world feed transmissions going out.

“We provided H264 video from the Airlinks and managed the bitrate with a ceiling of 16 Megabits per channel,” said Heitmann. “Using the Mobile Viewpoint LinkMatrix, a cloud-based management portal, we could easily make adjustments and troubleshoot on the fly. We are able to adjust parameters like bitrate in real-time to ensure continuous high-quality performance from the bonded cellular transmitters.”

CP Communications also took advantage of the public internet by deploying a Unity Intercom system for team-wide communications.

“We communicated with our entire team over a standard public network, which enabled us to react quicker to technical issues and even use Wi-Fi hotspots as necessary,” said Heitmann. “The Unity system is a cellular system that also matches with our bonded cellular cameras. It gives us the freedom to move as needed and still keep the lines of communication open, which is vital to the success of a project of this enormity.”

CP Communications recently demonstrated IP streaming and bonded cellular networking for live sports production at the 13th CrossFit Games. Contacted by Carr-Hughes Productions, CP Communications provided all content acquisition, networking and delivery services across all areas at the multi-venue, 20-acre Alliant Energy Center complex in Madison, Wisconsin. The complex includes an exhibition centre, vendor pavilions, a sponsor’s row, a beer garden and an outdoor competition area – North Park Stadium – built specifically for the event.

CP Communications established a base at the exhibition centre outside the Alliant Energy Center, and built a fibre infrastructure from its 40-foot CP-1 Digital Communications Trailer to cover the entire competitive course. The fibre infrastructure also delivered the live event production feeds that were distributed throughout the complex, allowing fans, participants and sponsors to watch the events in real-time. The 13th CrossFit Games took place earlier this month, with a focus on aerobic, weightlifting and gymnastics for the almost 200 male and female participants.

The fibre infrastructure was based around four, 48-strand fibre trunks to a demarcation point, where anywhere from 24 to 60 fibre strands were run to the various competition and spectator areas. The fibre network accommodated all audio, data, and video acquisition, transport and distribution services required between these locations and CP-1, which served as CP Communications’ production workspace in the broadcast compound. MultiDyne VF-9000 high-density video fibre transmission frames and MD-3000 fibre transceivers were used at all locations to move and process signals between any point, with a Dante network deployed to support audio and intercom on the same fibre backbone.

CP Communications’ technical personnel covered the event outside using multiple cameras (a mix of wireless RF handhelds, PTZ and POV cameras, and hard cameras on scissor lifts), with Mobile Viewpoint Airlinks used to encode and deliver signals over a bonded cellular network.

“We employed six bonded cellular rigs to cover events outside the Alliant Energy Center campus, including the ruck race and the swimming events downtown,” said Kurt Heitmann, CEO, CP Communications. “All of our wireless audio, communications and video systems worked seamlessly both inside the coliseum and outside at North Park Stadium, including our traditional CODFM wireless cameras. This flexibility is yet another example of our leadership and expertise in building customised, hybrid systems to ensure reliable event coverage across multiple sites. While we remain RF specialists, we can simplify the overall infrastructure and ensure 100 percent coverage by leveraging the power and flexibility of IP and bonded cellular networking.”

The CrossFit organisation also served as the World Feed host broadcaster, providing a completely IP-based world feed to various websites and social media services, including YouTube and Facebook, in multiple languages. CP Communications engineers monitored the all fibre, IP and bonded cellular feeds on board CP-1 including the acquired signals coming back to the trailer, and the world feed transmissions going out.

“We provided H264 video from the Airlinks and managed the bitrate with a ceiling of 16 Megabits per channel,” continued Heitmann. “Using the Mobile Viewpoint LinkMatrix, a cloud-based management portal, we could easily make adjustments and troubleshoot on the fly. We are able to adjust parameters like bitrate in real-time to ensure continuous high-quality performance from the bonded cellular transmitters.”

CP Communications also took advantage of the public internet by deploying a Unity Intercom system for team-wide communications.

“We communicated with our entire team over a standard public network, which enabled us to react quicker to technical issues and even use Wi-Fi hotspots as necessary,” said Heitmann. “The Unity system is a cellular system that also matches with our bonded cellular cameras. It gives us the freedom to move as needed and still keep the lines of communication open, which is vital to the success of a project of this enormity.”

A recap of the efforts by CP, Skycam, Fletcher, Admiral Video, SMT, Virtual Eye, Inertia Unlimited, and 4DReplay

MLB All-Star week once again featured a cavalcade of specialty cameras, unique audio solutions, and virtual graphics to capture and enhance coverage by Fox Sports, ESPN, and MLB Network. Here’s a look at the roles played by some of the key vendors onsite in Cleveland to make it all happen: CP Communications, Skycam, NEP Fletcher, Admiral Video, SMT, Virtual Eye, Inertia Unlimited, and 4DReplay.

CP Communications Shoulders RF Load
CP Communications, a longtime veteran at MLB All-Star week, provided RF cameras, microphones, and comms and also handled frequency coordination for the broadcasters onsite.

The CP Comms team at MLB All-Star (from left): Michael Mason, President; Aaron Segarra, VP Sales; Frank Rafka, Technical Manager; Brian Ready, Systems Engineer

The company supplied 14 RF camera systems in total, including handling RF for two new systems for ESPN’s Home Run Derby coverage: the Flycam point-to-point aerial system and the CartCam escorting players from the underground batting cages to home plate.

“The challenge of the CartCam was that the cart is not outside where our normal receive sites are, so we added receive sites downstairs,” said Frank Rafka, technical manager, CP Communications. “This is similar to the [cart] system we use in our golf [coverage], and it gives us the ability to route multiple receive sites to receivers. We have a receive site up at the top of the parking garage for the Flycam, and we have a receive site down in the tunnel to receive that CartCam. The beauty of it is, any of the cameras can go to any of these places. It’s not limited to just the Flycam or the CartCam: if the handheld needs to go into the hallway, it can do that.”

CP also supplied an RF Steadicam and three handhelds for ESPN; an RF MōVI rig featuring a Sony HDC-P1R camera and a Sony HDC-2500 handheld for Fox Sports; three handhelds — one of which was for MLB Digital — and two RF systems for the batting cages for MLB Network. In addition, CP deployed three Mobile Viewpoint bonded-cellular systems for MLB Network’s coverage of the Red Carpet Show.

On the audio side, CP supplied Fox Sports with 16 RF inground mics, RF talent mics, two RF ump mics, six RF player mics, two RF player IFBs for in-game interviews, eight RF FX mics, and RF mics on the bases. ESPN deployed CP reporter mics, field EFX mics, in-ground mics, player mics, IFB, PL, and RAD. For MLB Network, CP provided Dante networked audio and Shure Axient Digital mics. CP also provided a combined six Dante audio networks for the needs of broadcasters and operations onsite.

“The big thing this year is, there’s more Dante networked audio from all clients than there has been in the past,” said Brian Ready, comms engineer and client support, CP Communications. “Each client would individually do their own little thing, but now each one of them has grown. And so everybody is doing more and more Dante networked audio. Dante has grown by leaps and bounds.”

CP also managed comms needs for all three broadcasters onsite, provided a Pliant Technologies CrewCom system for MLB Digital, and served other MLB properties onsite.

“In terms of comms here, we’ve become a hub for all the networks, as well as MLB [Office of the Commissioner],” said CP Communications President Michael Mason. “We’re handling specific needs for [each broadcaster] and, at the same time, integrating all of them together. Not to mention also handling all their other communications with a truck compound that is in the basement, so we have installed a series of repeaters inside and outside the ballpark.”

 

Inertia Unlimited Resurrects DirtCam for Fox
The All-Star Game saw the return of DirtCam after a three-year absence, with Inertia Unlimited camera systems buried at home plate, at first base, and, for the first time, at second base.

Previously used at an All-Star Game in 2016, the system now features a new prism that dramatically improves the system’s picture quality. The only part of the system above ground was the 4-mm prism (with a ½-mm sapphire window to make it waterproof), which was painted to perfectly match the color of the Progressive Field infield dirt and was almost imperceptible to the naked eye.

“I would call this DirtCam version 1.5 and the .5 is a new prism, which is the linchpin of the camera,” explained Inertia Unlimited President Jeff Silverman. “It’s essentially a normal point-of-view camera shooting through a tiny 2-mm hole using a mirror. [In the past], we had a lot of stadium lights shooting into the mirror and causing flares and other problems. Now we have a much better handle on controlling all that light going through a mirror.”

The systems used at first and second base have full pan-and tilt capability (home plate is a lock-off shot), allowing capture of a variety of angles along the base paths. The system is also entirely wireless, relying on unique underground RF transmitters that cannot be touched.

Fox Sports’ and Inertia Unlimited’s DirtCam is nearly imperceptible with the naked eye.

Inertia Unlimited also worked with CP Communications to develop an RF camera system attached to a golf cart that conveyed players from the batting cages to home plate during ESPN’s Home Run Derby coverage. The system featured a DreamChip camera (also deployed by Fox at the U.S. Open last month) that can be shaded using standard Sony RCP inside the NEP EN1 mobile unit used by ESPN.

“To my knowledge, this is the first use of the DreamChip camera with full paint [control] from a Sony RCP,” said Silverman. “We have a scheme that takes this protocol and turns it into Sony protocol, which means that we can now move [the video signal] via RF. Once we can move it via RF, it becomes quite a useful tool. And the camera looks spectacular. If you don’t look very closely, you might not even notice it was a POV camera, and yet it’s small enough to close your hand around. It’s definitely the most impressive POV camera I’ve seen in years.”

Inertia Unlimited also provided Fox two Phantom high-speed camera systems running at 2,000 fps.

CP Communications will provide Vanguard LED Displays solutions to power dynamic visuals and presentations in meeting spaces and other high-end commercial AV installations

St. Petersburg, Florida CP Communications, a leader in innovative solutions and services for live event productions, announces a new distribution partnership with Vanguard LED Displays. The partnership will focus on the commercial AV market in alignment with the company’s broader growth strategy. CP Communications will offer Vanguard LED Displays solutions through direct sales in addition to using them for their own productions.

Vanguard LED Displays offers an extensive range of direct-view LED solutions, including indoor, outdoor, flexible, curved and transparent displays. Based in Lakeland, Florida, Vanguard is at the forefront of LED display innovation, offering 16:9 native aspect ratio, very fine pixel pitches, chip-on-board, and common cathode solutions.

These attributes are especially appealing to CP Communications as the company expands its live production strategy from its core sports and broadcast market to corporate events, houses of worship events, an array of at-home productions and any other applications that require broadcast-quality content while maintaining reasonable production budgets. Senior Account Executive Sean Sweeney is spearheading these strategic efforts.

“Vanguard fits nicely into CP Communications’ commercial AV strategy as a high-end specialized supplier serving corporate meeting spaces and conference rooms,” said Ken Dillard, VP of North American Sales for CP Communications. “The resolution of their displays is spectacular, and the viewing distances are exactly what we need to power dynamic presentations in the meeting space sizes we target. Vanguard displays also appeal to our systems integration team, as they are modular by design, extremely scalable, and easy to assemble.”

“CP Communications’ business aligns well with Vanguard LED because of our shared commitment to superior quality and unparalleled customer support,” said Sam Spennacchio, director of business development, Vanguard LED Displays. “I look forward to working together with CP Communications to assist them in achieving many creative, reliable and visually stunning LED solutions for their clients.”

CP Communications will promote Vanguard LED products alongside other solutions, including its own STREAM family of content acquisition systems, at the upcoming InfoComm Show (June 12-14, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida). A first-time exhibitor, CP Communications will exhibit at Booth 4877. Vanguard LED Displays also exhibits separately at Booth 743.

Former on-air meteorologist and atmospheric scientist turned business development specialist to focus on expanding visibility and market share for CP’s Red House Streaming solutions  

St. Petersburg, Florida, May 8, 2019 CP Communications, a leader in innovative solutions and services for live event productions, has appointed former atmospheric scientist and TV meteorologist James Monroe to its newly created Director of Sales, North America position.

Based in the Chicago area, Monroe will report to Ken Dillard, Vice President of Sales, North America, and focus on sales and business development for CP Communications’ broadcast news, sports, live event and sports production, and distribution solutions utilizing cellular acquisition tools from Mobile Viewpoint. Monroe’s responsibilities include an emphasis on expanding visibility and market share for the company’s Red House Streaming and Mobile Viewpoint portfolios of content acquisition solutions, which offers a range of IP, cloud and bonded cellular technologies and services.

Monroe brings a rare blend of technical expertise and communications skills to his new role. He spent nearly three decades in the weather industry, including seven as an on-air meteorologist at TV stations in Salt Lake City (KSTU-TV) and Rochester, New York (WROC-TV). He has also served as Special Projects Weather Forecaster for the United States Air Force, supervising the delivery of weather forecasts, warnings and advisories to the U.S. Military and NATO forces, along with supporting NASA missions and various civilian agencies.

Over the past 15 years, Monroe has transitioned into the broadcast supplier space, taking on sales and engineering roles of increasing responsibility. Following positions at WSI Corporation and The Weather Company (an IBM Business) that merged his meteorology experience with customer-facing sales and account management duties, Monroe held successful, senior-level sales roles at Vizrt and TVU Networks.

Monroe’s diverse experiences have equipped him with a strong knowledge of modern broadcast and production workflows, and an insightful awareness of the role that customer intimacy plays in the sales journey.

“My many years of television experience both behind the scenes and on the supplier side has taught me the value that this industry places on relationships,” he said. “CP Communications understands the importance of a consultative sales approach, and how treating customer relations as partnerships will ultimately drive revenue. The fact that CP Communications is on the leading edge of IP and cloud-based delivery only strengthens my opportunity for success. Through our representation of Mobile Viewpoint networking products and our homegrown STREAM family of content acquisition systems, we can offer solutions that are ideally engineered to fit the standards and workflows of today’s broadcast and production environments.”

Monroe adds that he sees an opportunity to expand CP Communications’ presence into new markets where IP and bonded cellular technologies can provide critical connectivity and communications services, including public safety and law enforcement.

“James brings a very unique industry perspective along with a customer-centric work ethic and long-standing industry relationships to CP Communications that will bring our innovative solutions and services to a much larger audience,” said Dillard. “We are proud to welcome him to the growing CP Communications team.”