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IP Changing the Shape of College Sports Video Productions

June 13, 2018 by Chuck Baker

Sports Video Group’s 2018 College Summit included a panel on the impact of IP on college sports production. The panelists have all shepherded video production programs into the IP age, and they share their experiences on making the transition. They are:

  • Imry Halevi, Director, Multimedia and Production, Department of Athletics, Harvard University
  • Scott Morse, Director, Athletics Communications and Promotions, Lafayette College
  • Jose Nevarez, Assistant Athletic Director, Broadcast Operations, University of Portland
  • Chris Burgos, Product and Vertical Market Manager, Sports, NewTek

Jason Dachman, chief editor, SVG, moderated the discussion. Each of the sports production programs covers as wide a range as possible of the sports in which each college participates. Each produces events both for broadcast and for live streaming.

The sports production facilities at Harvard and Lafayette both make use of NewTek NDI® technology to allow for a centralized control room to handle most or all of sports production across the campus. Cameras at the sports facilities use a standard network to link with the control room and transmit video and audio. Harvard is still operating with standard wire networks, Lafayette has run fiber networking. In both cases, NDI is able to operate successfully to provide high-quality, low-latency video and audio to the control room, as well as to convey tally and control information to the cameras. Where robotic cameras are in use, this includes pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) control.

What each case shared in the panel makes clear is that where IP workflow leads is not simply a change of cables. Baseband cabling sends signals in one direction, and needs an explicit set of cables and connections for every direction and location that you needed to send a specific signal. If you want one camera’s feed to go into several pieces of equipment you need very expensive hardware and extra cables to do that - a video matrix router, and all the supporting cabling to get to any production system. Then, some of those systems will also need output and cabling to the switcher(s). Or they may need to get back to the video matrix router, and from the router, cabling needs to go to switchers or other systems. The numbers, length, weight and cost add up quickly.

By contrast, when you put an NDI-enabled camera on the network, every NDI-enabled device on the network sees that feed. If you have a couple of switchers, a couple of graphics systems, a telestrator system, an archiving system to record all the raw feeds and the finished outputs, they all see that feed and each other. The video production infrastructure is a far less expensive network router or switch and a single network cable to each device that carries signal in both directions. Everything can actually talk to everything else.

We have featured Imry Halevi’s introductory segment with an overview of the IP video production workflow at Harvard at top of this article. Below, you can view the full panel discussion. Enjoy!

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NDI, IP Workflow, broadcast, Live Streaming, Sports, NewTek, Harvard Athletics, Lafayette College, University of Portland, SVG, PTZ, robotic camera, Telestrator, video production,

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