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  • Bradley Grice

AP Capture solutions – Sports Mast vs Fixed

Many of us are using this unusual time to review current processes and prepare for the future. In this short blog, we delve into the key considerations made by those at the start of their AP Capture journey; will they choose the Sports Mast or the Fixed solution?

To start with, both the AP Capture Sports Mast and the Fixed solutions are both built around a very high-quality 4K ready IP Camera, controlled via a joystick with smooth Pan, Tilt, Zoom (PTZ) movement patterns. Both give you the same high-quality video file (MP4) that is ready to use whether you are filming an inside or outside event. You also have some very exciting ‘optional extras’ to add further layers to your AP Capture solution.

With both, you will benefit from

Use in rain/wind outside

Protected. The cameras are fully outdoor compatible and you also get a rain/sun shield that sits above the camera and is easy to apply. The protective integrated box of the Sports Mast houses all the key components, keeping them safe and dry. It also has a protective waterproof compartment for the laptop to sit on. In addition, you get guy ropes, dovetail spikes, and even the hammer to bang them in if on grass for windy days. We have filmed a rugby festival from a very windy area in Bath and we know – it’s secure!

With the Fixed solution, you can film from where you choose the main capture station to be i.e. a performance analysis suite, office, pavilion, or a lab. You can also opt to have an outdoor access point if the event is outside (should you wish to be in the thick of the action!). The fixed camera is equipped with a protective guard for use inside or to shelter against wind and rain when fixed outside.


The Sports Mast is pneumatically pumped up to 6 meters; an ideal height to capture footage so you can zoom out for shape/positioning or zoom in for key moments/set pieces for example. No more capturing of running boots or trainers.

The Fixed solution can fit where you like! You can choose a dedicated pole (9m, 12m or even 15m) or, save on costs and go for a custom bracket off a floodlight or existing structure i.e. your building.

Ability to pan, tilt and zoom simultaneously

The feathered movement patterns allow you to use a joystick to effectively film fast-paced sport, and you can also use pre-set buttons to automatically move to areas of the court/pitch. Very handy!

AP Capture software – Controlling and capturing the camera

Ready to go. After filming with both the Sports Mast or the Fixed solution, you will get a ‘ready to use’ video file in the popular MP4 format to put on a memory stick, or start some post-event analysis with. You can also use the IP address to live capture into other video analysis tools i.e. Nacsport (our favourite), SportsCode, Dartfish, Angles etc.

Synchronising sound into the video capture

How important is sound to you? Normally, security style CCTV systems and IP cameras don’t work well with sound, but we couldn’t have that in a solution made for sport!

The AP Capture software can sync the laptop’s sound source (like the microphone for ambient sound when using the Sports Mast outside) into the captured video file. With both solutions, you can use our IP sound device to connect high-quality sound devices such as an ambient shotgun mic, commentary mic, or radio mics (for coach/ref education for example) into AP Capture. This is 100% needed if you want to live stream the performance to YouTube or Facebook (more of this later!)

With the Sports Mast

Portability and Assembly

‘1-man band’. Now, this is the most obvious one but it’s a big deal. The mast equipment can be transported and set up by one person. Home, away, 2nd home, it doesn’t matter!

You may be wondering how long it takes and how hard it is to put up. The answer is it’s quick and easy. We support you with full onsite training and follow up training videos. Watch how here.


Good news, you are self-powered with an integrated battery and you don’t need to run cables for miles and worry about extension leads and trip hazards.

Ready to go!

We provide you with all the equipment you need. Just add a laptop (the Dell G3 or HP Omen are ones we like) and you are ready to capture.

There are no installation costs or considerations to think of. You have everything you need to capture whenever and wherever!

Share with other sports – maximise the investment

If you are in a multi-sport environment, club together and share the mast across the big events, maximising your investment and using the Sports Mast as often as you can.

With fixed installations

Film remotely

Another huge one! As we mentioned, you can 'film from the warm’, away from the elements, all year round, from inside (do we need to say more analysts?). Click the link to see Darren Lewis (Head Analyst at Gloucester Rugby) using AP Joystick to control the AP Capture camera when capturing directly into Nacsport.

All your cameras are always ready

No set up required. Open AP Capture, select your cameras on the network, press record and start filming.

That’s right, we said cameras. Double the vision. With fixed solutions you can upgrade to AP Capture V2 and select a 2nd camera, allowing a side on/ end on ‘dual capture’ of the event for example. With all AP Capture versions, you can pick any camera from your network to capture and control onto your machine or machines. Useful for environments with multiple pitches and cameras.

Fixed camera, but lots to view

Whether you install a dedicated pole or use a custom bracket, you can cleverly maximise the viewpoint of the camera to capture more than one pitch or court for example. The cameras can rotate 360 and have an incredible zoom, so there is always more to capture!

For gold standard, we would advise choosing a trolley head style pole, allowing you to easily access the camera for wiping dust away and keeping the image tip top. Obviously, a dedicated pole dramatically increases costs (we can help you source the best one for this too).

You will need an installer

Our cameras and switches need installing, along with cables, brackets and ducting for example. We have a great qualified installation expert we can recommend, and he can provide a full site audit to check your environment and give you the best indication of installation costs, whilst maximising your environment and workflow requirements.

Additional choices and capabilities

There are a number of ‘optional extras’ when looking to enhance your AP Capture solution.

Live streaming

In a world where we may not want to rub shoulders as we once did – the live streaming plugin enables you to broadcast to YouTube or Facebook whilst you are filming the event.

Not only this, you can display a scoreboard with timer and an intermittent sponsor to regain some revenue – it’s also a one-person operation. You can see an example here on YouTube:

Portable G Bracket Fixings

Achieving something ‘in between’ the Sports Mast and Fixed solution. We recently spoke to a customer who works between different grounds but liked the idea of the fixed set up. Our answer to this was to use the G Bracket (from the Sports Mast) with some clever tools we can supply, like our scaffolding bracket. You can quickly attach the G Bracket into the scaffolding bracket and capture as normal from an elevated gantry.

AP Live Apps

Put the view of the cameras in your hands with AP Live. You can view the feed from the IP cameras via our tablet app, pause, rewind, replay, add some basic drawing tools and save a 20-second clip to a file on the tablet for review later. A top coaching tool.

AP Joystick

Truly in a class of its own. This software works with both Windows and Mac, allowing you to control the cameras whilst you capture and code the feed directly into your video analysis software! Yes, so just to repeat that, you can live capture into your video analysis software (with your tagging panel open) and control the camera at the same time with the joystick connected. Read about our development of this software for the English FA.


And now we get to the bit at the end, just like on the Antiques Roadshow where you just want to know the price!

The cost of the fixed camera solution components from us (other costs for fixed points/masts, cabling, installation are involved):

From £ 6,380 (+vat)

The cost of the complete portable sports mast solution:

From £ 9,520 (+vat)

Find out more!

If you want to learn more about the AP Capture solutions and discuss your environment and requirements, please contact us and we will provide you with the most professional filming solution on the market!


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