Camden Yards' video boards complete HD transition

Daily Record Business Writer
April 1, 2009 6:36 PM

If you thought there was something a little off last year with the footage on the high definition video board at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, you were right — the project was only half finished.

Bryan Krandle, in-game entertainment manager for the Orioles, works the high-definition scoreboard at Camden Yards from the stadium’s new control room.On Tuesday, after two off-seasons of work and an investment of approximately $9.1 million from the Maryland Stadium Authority, team officials unveiled the completed control room, which can now play high definition video and sound.

Last year the new video board went up — replacing the 16-year-old JumboTron — and fans got sharper graphics, but the control room at the park was still only capable of transmitting in standard definition.

“We are now one of 10 teams to be fully high definition-capable, which is an honor,” said Monica Barlow, director of public relations for the Orioles. “This is going to be a great entertainment experience for our fans.”

The Orioles join the Nationals, Mets, Yankees, Braves, Reds, Royals, Marlins, Diamondbacks and Giants in teams with ballparks that are fully HD-capable. The video board for Nationals Park, which opened a year ago, has about twice the square footage of the boards at Camden Yards.

The Orioles’ system, like the Nationals’, broadcasts in 1080i, the second-best quality for high definition broadcasts.

Now that the control room is finished, the team also has replaced the old televisions in the park with about 50 televisions with LCD display in the concourse and another 77 outside the ballpark suites.

In other additions, the team’s production staff has added more games and videos to its repertoire, including a take-off on “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno’s “Jay Walking” skits — starring pitcher Jeremy Guthrie — and a feature with the team’s first Japanese-born player, pitcher Koji Uehara, teaching fans words in Japanese.

The team and its food vendor, Aramark, have also resolved an issue with a kosher concessionaire and will retain the vendor’s services, Barlow said. Last month Jonathan Katz, owner of Kosher Sports, said he couldn’t afford to continue operating under the deal between his company and Aramark.

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