JVC'S NEWEST AND SMALLEST HIGH PERFORMANCE CAMERA SCORES AT THE WORLD CUP by Lawrence Frost President 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 PRODUCTS COMPANY. 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 away. 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 closely with JVC PROFESSIONAL PRODUCTS COMPANY and Fletcher 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.