Canoe World Championship 2011 in Szeged with Spidercam

Spidercam for the first time at Szeged

This weekend is promising very hot weather, not just for the athletes of the ICF Canoe World Championship but also for the TV crew members of the Hungarian MTV and the SIVision OBVan team (Germany) as well writes Rezso Soltesz.

As usually, an international outside broadcast event must show some new elements on the screen of the TV households, this is what exactly will happen this weekend (16-21.08.2011) at Szeged/Hungary where  the Canoe World Championships 2011 will be covered for a worldwide TV audience.

The Hungarian Canoe Association decided to give the highest possible support to the broadcasting of the competition and called the SIVision HD OBVan under the leadership of Imre Sereg from Munich to give the maximum possible technical base of the engagement.


Imre Sereg explained, “…We came here to Szeged with our well-known red SIVision OBVans not for the first time. Last year we finished a very good job with our Hungarian colleagues from MTV (Hungarian Television) and this year we are trying to redo it on a higher level again. This year we are planning to show much more to our producer as well.  For the first time in Canoe broadcast history we will use the Spidercam, which brings a new effect with its three dimensions movement onto the screen.” The German Spidercam team (Christian Will – pilot / Frank Stutzke – camera / Joachim Krugmann – technic) is located close to camera position 6 in between the 200m and the 250m start lines. The Spidercam will give a completely new kind of camera view to the director at the OB Van and after the first test runs everyone likes it.  The Spidercam is a Panasonic camera (Fujinon 4.5 objective) hanging between four 35m high tower cranes. “Anyway,”  continues Imre Sereg, “we bring 18 Sony HDC 1500 cameras, and the best Canon Zoom optics 40x / 86x / and 100x lenses as well.  These long zoom-range lenses are necessary because of the long distances the cameras have to cover.”


In addition to the radio remote controlled cameras on the Trackrunner and the Follow Car, more than 8.5 kilometer cables were laid out to connect the 22 cameras with the production area in the OBVan.

The Canoe World Championship outside broadcast production is a cooperation between German and Hungarian broadcasters.  The director of the Hungarian TV program Agnes Györffy is a specialist in the production of water sports, and has lead the crew in the past in other events with great successes.

In Szeged we see many teams from European TV companies like BBC and Eurosport, and also the colleagues from RBB in Germany with two of their OBVans to produce the signal for special programmes on ARD’s Sportschau this weekend. The RBB OBVans receive the international signal from the MTV/SIVision team.


Jozsef Halla is the first camera man of MTV. Together with his German colleagues he created the camera plan of the 18+3 cameras. The plus 3 cameras make the picture for the MTV Sport special issue. MTV has an additional commentary position on the water as well…

Mr. Halla said, “All cameramen who stay behind the cameras belonging to the MTV Crew, except the Spidercam team and the Trackrunner (RailCam) which is running at the water- level on the last 400m.  We also have a camera on a Follow Car, operated by colleagues from Germany. This camera works with gyro-stabilized head to compensate the car moving effects on the first 750m of the racetrack. It works with a 42x Canon wide range zoom objective, which covers tremendous images of the competition on the water.”

The Hungarian-German International Crew located in the SIVision OBVan creates the international broadcast signal and delivers it to the SNG cars and they transmit it via satellite to TV Stations worldwide.


Gabor Halla (son of the first camera man Jozsef Halla, MTV) and the broadcast coordinator in Szeged adds: “…We are very happy with the cooperation of the SIVision OBVan crew, and also with the new technical possibilities like, first of all the Spidercam, but also with the Trackrunner camera as well. Besides these two we also positioned two high-speed cameras working over the water at the position 13 and 14, directly behind the finish line. Both are Sony HDC-3300 SuperSloMo cameras working with 100x Canon zoom lenses, which are nowadays the longest range in the broadcast area,” and he continues, “ to summarize the work of such kind of outside broadcasting event is not easy. The 1500 meter distance here is really long for what we need to cover as good as possible.  For this reason at the first part of the race track we use the Follow Car. On this track Camera 1 brings the picture through the first 750m. After that the Trackrunner takes over the picture for the last 400m till the finish line.”


ARD – RBB with two OBVans at Szeged

To celebrate the German Canoe Victories, ARD has sent two OBVan from Berlin to Hungary. The RBB Crew - lead by Christian Hopp – has setup a special Commentary Position near the Mixed Zone at the finish area with its own unilateral cameras to welcome the successful German water sportsman on this weekend.