Darlington FC, one of Britain's leading fan-owned football clubs, has joined the growing number of sports organisations establishing their own IPTV channel. Core of the club's new live-streaming service, Quaker TV, is a complete system including a Streamstar X4 Live Production Studio and four-channel talkback, supplied and installed by CJP Broadcast Service Solutions Ltd. Quaker TV will be run entirely by Darlington FC volunteers, building on their experience in running the Darlington FC You Tube channel and Darlo Fans Radio.
“With all the uncertainty about attendances this coming season, we decided to provide a high quality streaming service for our fans living outside the area or who might be shielding against coronavirus," says Stuart Armstrong, one of the DFR commentators over the past eight years, who has played a key role in launching Quaker TV. "We know from our work on DFR that we have many followers around the world who tune in regularly to keep up with the team and be part of the Darlo community."
"We engaged with CJP Broadcast who have been helpful with information and guidance throughout the planning stages, always looking to help to be cost conscious and reduce capital expenditure by reutilising our existing camera and audio tech into the new system. The Streamstar technology they have installed provides everything we need at this stage of our experience with live production. Its ease of use and flexibility, combined with the incredibly rich features, enable us to produce own content and distribute it under our control."
“Our aims with Quaker TV are to provide a high quality broadcast of each game that fans would really enjoy and do it in a way that the club can get maximum benefit from any income without going to third party operators. Lots of clubs right up to Championship level are doing single-camera streaming but we wanted to create something that our fans could feel proud of. For each home game this season we will be providing a stream consisting of up to four match action cameras, integrated commentary, graphics, instant replays, and some additional buildup and post-game content. We're also looking to see if we can rebroadcast action highlights into the bar areas at half time and full time."
“The Darlington FC board has supported us in terms of purchasing the equipment we needed, and the supporters’ group has also contributed financially. We've been able to integrate a lot of our existing equipment, so we've not had to start from scratch. All of this will be powered by our existing media volunteers, with help from local film and media students."
"As a media team we're really excited about the prospect of bringing live match-day streaming to our fans," adds Kevin Luff who has established the Darlington FC's YouTube channel. "If you had told me eight years ago when I recorded my first game for the club at Consett that this is where we'd end up, I'm not sure I would have believed you!"
"We have gained a lot of experience this year in providing Streamstar as the core technology within our own live production services," comments CJP Managing Director, Chris Phillips. "This included successful recent TV coverage and live streaming of the world’s largest domestic cup football final and semi-final as well as Premier T20 Blast cricket. Our remit within these events has been to promote the very affordable high-quality production technology to tier two and tier three sports by demonstrating the power and quality of the system at even the highest echelons of sport.”
"We are delighted to be working with Darlington FC to assist them in their journey into live streaming and high-quality HD production workflows. The Darlington team have been and continue to be a wonderful partner to work with, not only delivering live streaming of games to Darlington FC fans during these uncertain times but also proving their commitment to the community through the strategy of developing young talent from local universities eager to gain work experience whilst assisting the club."
“As a dedicated fan of non-league football, I feel it has been overlooked by many who are missing out simply because the coverage and accessibility have not been there to gain a large fan base. CJP Broadcast aims to change this by helping to make non-league football attractive to watch and accessible to a global audience. Darlington will then be able to overcome the difficulties created by Covid and demonstrate what being a fan-focused club is all about. With mainstream broadcasters not commercially able to bring trucks and crews to small grounds across the country, our solution provides clubs like Darlington with the technology and expertise to bring football home to their fans."
Packaged in a 2U chassis, the Streamstar supports a variety of inputs and offers a wide range of creative features including up to eight cameras with simultaneous recording and replay with slomo on each channel, multiscreen media viewing, a wide range of graphic effects plus an internal character generator, all under the control of an intuitive touch screen user interface. Integral facilities include ISO recording, four-layer graphics, transitions, real-time replay, slow-motion replay, on-the-fly highlights creation, advert insertion, clip insertion and audio mixing. Operation is via a touch screen and keyboard with the option of an external joystick for pan/tilt/zoom camera control.
Streamstar comes complete with multiscreen monitoring facilities plus the option of a second-screen output for commentator positions. An H.264 live stream can be fed directly to a TV station or third-party OB control suite via a 10 megabits per second link or via 4G mobile. This feature includes the ability to simulcast to multiple platforms and in-stadium screens. Up to 96 terabytes of RAID5 storage can also be attached.
About CJP Broadcast
CJP Broadcast Service Solutions Limited (www.cjp-bss.co.uk) was established in 2011 to provide broadcast manufacturers and engineering companies with professional ITIL based service desk solutions. In 2016 the company expanded its portfolio to include digitisation of broadcast tape and film media for restoration of historical media archives into modern file-based formats. In 2018 CJP Broadcast expanded its operations further, providing live production solutions, professional broadcast TV studio system integration and technical support services.