AT THE WORLD CUP 

by Lawrence Frost
Kaleidoscope Camera Control, a British-based company
(Shepperton, England) that designs and builds remote control
camera systems.

     Over 32 billion people throughout the world tuned in to the 
"World Cup" soccer games this past month, and for the first time 
many countries got to see and hear the excitement at home through 
their country's own familiar television commentator. Kaleidoscope 
Camera Control collaborated their efforts to make this happen with 
one of the smallest high performance cameras by JVC PROFESSIONAL 
     Held in the United States for the first time, the 1994 "World 
Cup" attracted cumulative television viewers in the billions and 
3.5 million spectators -- 1.5 million from outside the U.S.  The 
tournament included 52 games between 24 participating countries in 
nine cities across the U.S.  Always looking for innovative ways to 
broadcast sports, Kaleidoscope developed a distinct system that 
delivered a new perspective for the television audience for these 
games and future sport events.  Working closely with Fletcher 
Chicago's head of sports, Dan Grainge, we rigged over 80 remote-
control systems featuring for the first time the "COM-CAM," a 
combination of Kaleidoscope's "MICROSHOT" -- the smallest 
professional remote-control camera head available -- and JVC's new 
KY-F55U 3 CCD mini camera with zoom lens.  
     Mounted on a sportscaster's desk, the "COM-CAM" allows 
broadcasters to shoot the commentators and then pan around to 
capture the action on the field.  Commentators have become 
personalities in many countries.  There is a Bob Costas and Marv 
Albert in Japan, Italy, Mexico, Russia, etc., who have all 
developed a rapport with their respective audiences.  So, it's not 
enough for their television viewers to just hear their voices.  
They want to see them and their guests.  But, the problem has been 
that there's just not enough space in the broadcaster's booth for a 
camera crew.  For example, the French had a basic 4' x 6' 
television area that was obviously too small for a conventional 
camera.  With our remote pan and tilt system and JVC's compact 
camera, literally set up on a desk, the broadcaster was able to 
give their viewers both shots of himself as well as the "on field" 
action.  The system was set up so that any non-technical person 
could learn to use it easily.  The camera could also be controlled 
by an operator in a truck, which in some cases, is over 3,000 feet 
     In addition to the "COM-CAM," the "MICROSHOT" was mounted in 
each goal with the KY-F55 to catch all the exciting goalmouth 
action.  For both of these unique uses, we needed a camera that was 
small and unobtrusive, yet provided high quality pictures.  There 
are other cameras that are small enough for this use, but do not 
offer the level of quality or the ability to zoom as well as the 
JVC KY-F55 camera.  While attending this year's NAB convention in 
Las Vegas, we met with JVC and were not only impressed with the KY-
F55, but also with the enthusiasm and helpfulness of the JVC 
personnel.  They worked closely with us from conception to 
completion, to ensure that everything worked well. 
     The overwhelming response received from the broadcasters at 
all of the venues demonstrated that the new "COM-CAM" system is the 
wave of the future in sports coverage.  While each venue was rigged 
with the system, not every broadcaster had one; but when they saw 
its capabilities, they wanted it for their respective countries.  
Unfortunately, it was too late for us to supply them with systems 
at that time, but it is certain that this is a system they would 
want for future events. 
     The compact camera, weighing in at only 1.1 pounds, helped to 
capture on video the critical moments that only a camera of this 
size and flexibility can do.  The KY-F55 offers 750 lines 
of horizontal resolution and a 60dB signal-to-noise ratio.  It 
delivered outstanding image quality because of its three high-
density, 1/3-inch micro-lens interline transfer (IT) CCD's.  A host 
of automatic features, such as built-in, full-time Auto White 
balance and Auto Level Control with Extended Electronic Iris, 
assure perfectly tracking real-time white balance and gain over a 
wide range of changing lighting conditions.  These features allowed 
the KY-F55 to pan from the ultra bright playing field to the darker 
commentator's booth without changing neutral density or color 
correction filters. 
     The "COM-CAM" was a big hit at "World Cup '94."  By working 
Chicago, we were able to provide the best in service and equipment 
to broadcasters from all over the world.  Based on its performance 
and the great response from broadcasters, it will certainly be seen 
in additional applications at other sporting extravaganzas.