Harvard University Athletics Raises the Streaming Bar for College Sports with AJA Gear

Date: 06/05/2019
Harvard University Athletics Raises the Streaming Bar  for College Sports with AJA Gear

Harvard University consistently ranks among U.S. News and World Reports Best Colleges not only for its academic stature but also for its top-notch collegiate athletics program. The institution is home to 42 NCAA Division 1 teams spanning basketball, hockey, football, squash, tennis and many other sports. To keep its students, alumni and Crimson fans up to speed on their favorite teams, the Athletics Departments’ multimedia and production arm produces and broadcasts home games in high quality H.264 to ESPN+ (https://plus.espn.com/), regional outfit NESN and the Ivy League’s international streaming platform, and also creates ancillary content, all using a host of gear from AJA Video Systems.

In preparation for streaming to multiple CDNs, the department ramped up its production workflow over a year ago – adding more cameras, graphics and audio equipment and other tools to its arsenal, including the AJA HELO, U-TAP and Ki Pro Ultra. “Streaming to ESPN+ has taken college athletics production to a new level, with standards that are higher than ever before. To keep pace, we needed equipment that’s reliable, affordable and easy to learn and use,” shared Imry Halevi, Assistant Director of Athletics, multimedia and production, Harvard. “If you do the math, we’re churning out more than 300 broadcast-quality streams a year. Having tools like HELO, Ki Pro Ultra and U-TAP that tick all these boxes gives me confidence that we’ll be able to consistently meet the production standards expected of us without ever missing a beat.”

While workflows slightly vary depending upon the sport, the tennis and squash workflows are quite similar. Each squash or tennis court features mounted POV cameras with HD-SDI outputs and a mic output. The audio and video signals go into a rack holding a switcher, video unit and six AJA HELO H.264 recording, streaming and encoding devices. The switcher, with an Intel compute stick that captures scoreboard data, outputs the camera and mic feeds for each court via HDMI to a video unit for Harvard’s international stream while the SDI outputs are fed to each of the six HELOs, one per court, and streamed to ESPN+ in H.264 via RTMP, as well as recorded for archival.

“Most anyone who is streaming is using RTMP because it gives you the highest quality stream at the most affordable price point. We could use a satellite truck, fiber or managed IP transmission to get our signals from point a to point b, but none of these would be as practical or cost effective as RTMP,” Halevi shared. “This is in part why we have 14 HELOs and are eager to add more; they make it easy to change RTMP information, which is crucial when we’re getting new RTMP stream information for every tennis and squash match. We can easily log into each HELO via the web UI, and create a new RTMP URL and ID, which is unique to HELO.”

All footage that the team captures is archived and has been since the 1920s, partially as a means of preserving Harvard’s history, but also to aid in content creation. “We want people to know what makes Harvard Athletics special and to do that we need to create great content, which often means we lean on archived footage. We never know what footage we’ll need, when we’ll need it and how we’ll use it. By giving us the ability to stream and record at the same time, HELO gives us a peace of mind in that we know we’ll have a high-quality file accessible as you can set different compression levels for each stream.”

Halevi and team also deploy two HELO units across their basketball and hockey/football control rooms for streaming needs outside traditional live production. Connected to DirecTV receivers, the devices come into play when the team needs to capture footage from away games in H.264. “We love having HELOs in our control room,” he added. “It’s great to be able to schedule recordings with HELO’s built in calendar support, stream and record at the same time, preview videos and be able to see the video signal coming in.”

To meet requests for uncompressed ProRes and/or DNx footage should melts be needed, the team also keeps a Ki Pro Ultra 4K/UltraHD/2K/HD recorder/player in its hockey control room. Additionally, Halevi recently added AJA U-TAP SDI USB 3.0-powered SDI capture devices to his collection of gear to double the number of feeds that his team could capture when live streaming with Wirecast on MacBook Pros. “Most capture solutions available today come with Thunderbolt ports, which is partially what made U-TAP so appealing. It allows you to take advantage of the MacBook Pro’s USB 3.0 ports to double the amount of inputs and outputs you can tap into,” Halevi explained. “The units were super easy to get up and running on, and we didn’t need to adjust or install anything; they just worked out of the box.”

When the department needs new technology, Halevi often looks to AJA first because of his experience with the gear and the company’s reputation for building reliable products. He concluded, “I love that AJA engineers are listening to the industry and building tools that really meet our needs and always work – and that they’re open to and accepting of customer feedback. You speak up about what you’d like to see and often it pops up in a firmware update down the line.”

About AJA Video Systems, Inc.

Since 1993, AJA Video has been a leading manufacturer of video interface technologies, converters, digital video recording solutions and professional cameras, bringing high-quality, cost-effective products to the professional broadcast, video and post production markets. AJA products are designed and manufactured at our facilities in Grass Valley, California, and sold through an extensive sales channel of resellers and systems integrators around the world. For further information, please see our website at www.aja.com.



Tags: aja | aja video systems | harvard | harvard university | college sports | espn | streaming
Submitted by Raz Public Relations (Raz Public Relations)
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Insys Video Technologies Automates Celebrity Identification and Inappropriate Content Detection through API Integration with Amazon Rekognition Posted: 16/05/2019
Insys Video Technologies Automates Celebrity Identification and Inappropriate Content Detection through API Integration with Amazon Rekognition

Insys Video Technologies has added powerful new capabilities to its comprehensive, over-the-top (OTT) video solutions that enable automated identification of celebrities and detection of inappropriate content in catch-up TV programming and on-demand video libraries. Viewers can find clips featuring a particular celebrity and jump to the exact point in the show where that person appears, while nudity and violence can be automatically flagged and blurred.

Tags: OTT | live | VOD | video | Amazon Rekognition | Rekognition | Artificial Intelligence | AI | Machine Learning | ML | streaming | platform | delivery | Insys | Insys Video Technologies | Amazon Web Services | AWS | on demand | Elemental
Submitted by Write Turn Communications
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dock10 to launch revolutionary virtual studio capability Posted: 16/05/2019
dock10 to launch revolutionary virtual studio capability

dock10, the UK’s leading television facility, has today announced it is to launch a new industry-leading 4k UHD ready virtual studio capability using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4 (UE4) rendering technology. By using UE4, programme makers can create photorealistic output in real-time. The system enables studio sets to combine physical and virtual elements in such a way that they are indistinguishable from each other. It also allows cameras to point in absolutely any direction across the whole of the studio to deliver a seamless on-screen set.

Tags: dock10 | dock 10
Submitted by Bubble Communications
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Dejero Announces Support for SMPTE ST 2110 Posted: 16/05/2019
Dejero Announces Support for SMPTE ST 2110
Dejero, an innovator in cloud-managed solutions that provide Emmy® award winning video transport and Internet connectivity while mobile or in remote locations, has launched the WayPoint 204 receiver that supports SMPTE ST 2110 for customers who are in the process of shifting their infrastructures and workflows to IP.
Tags: Dejero | SMPTE ST 2110 | WayPoint 204 | IP transition | cloud-managed solutions | NAB 2019 | Todd Schneider | live video | broadcast-quality reliability | flexibility | simplified process | MKM Marcomms | MKM Marketing Communications
Submitted by MKM Marketing Communications
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The Kray Twinz Pack Extra Punch With PMC Monitoring On Board Posted: 16/05/2019
The Kray Twinz Pack Extra Punch With PMC Monitoring On Board
‘Something that packed a punch’ – that’s what Jaz Singh, one half of the award-winning DJ and production due The Kray Twinz, was looking for when he decided to upgrade the monitoring in his new project studio. Having always regarded PMC products as the Rolls Royce of studio monitors, he began his search there and after demo-ing a pair of IB1SA monitors he was convinced he’d found exactly what he wanted.
Tags: PMC Speakers | Kray Twinz | Project Studio | Bollywood | Film and TV Music
Submitted by White Noise Public Relations Ltd
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