Soon after the Playoff run of 202007 had wrapped up with a disappointing loss in San Antonio, Suns president Rick Welts had an announcement for the broadcast department.
Now you can see all the Suns games in HD. (NBAE Photos)
As one who has been on the cutting edge for most of his career (creation of NBA all-star weekend is just one example on a long list), and with all of the Suns home games already sold out for this season, we were not surprised when Rick informed us that the Suns would be the first NBA team to produce all of its local broadcasts in high definition (HD). We were all excited at this opportunity and what it would mean to our viewers – extraordinarily sharp pictures and graphics.� Honestly, this is the biggest transformation in television since we moved from black and white to color.
Selfishly, I knew it meant I would get some of the very best equipment to work with in producing these broadcasts. Since we hire production facilities and technical crews in each city from which we broadcast, I’ve worked in some pretty shaky places with equipment that had seen better days. (Imagine going to work each day to a new office with new equipment and an entirely different set of co-workers.) Since HD technology is fairly recent, all of the TV production trucks I would see this year would be state of the art (or close).
I also knew there was a lot of work ahead. The high definition format we use has 6 times the resolution of your standard definition TV you’ve been used to. All of our graphics, animations and edited videotape packages needed to be redesigned and made better, sharper, clearer.
That was June. As I write this, on the Suns charter flight between Charlotte and Atlanta, we have finished our very first HD broadcast on MY45. The first two local broadcast of the season were also in HD on our broadcast partner FSN Arizona. But unlike the FSN broadcasts, where the Fox network graphics design group produces all of the tape and graphic elements of the broadcast, we do all our own work on the MY45 shows.
We’ve done 10 or so HD broadcasts on FSN in each of the last few seasons – but all from the comfort of our home at US Airways Center and with the power of the nation’s largest regional sports network behind us. This was our first on MY45 and first on the road. It certainly wasn’t without its challenges and even a few rough spots on the air, but it was a tremendous step in bringing Suns fans the best TV coverage possible. And with 8 Suns players scoring in double figures in a 32-point win – it’s hard to complain about anything that happened in Charlotte.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience an NBA game in HD, I urge you to call a friend that has an HD set at their house or head out to a restaurant that shows one of our upcoming broadcasts in HD. Wednesday’s broadcast in Atlanta is followed by Friday and Saturday games in Miami and Orlando. Check it out – and let us know what you think.
See you on TV.