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Category Archives: Sports
White paper and NAB speech on Bridging the Gap without Cables: NHL Refs Get a Clear Shot at Goal with 60GHz Wireless Video
When a remote or hostile location makes it impossible to send an HD signal over
traditional means, what options does a broadcaster have? The NHL may have one of the most extreme environments needing to deliver a clear signal to a replay official at headquarters, not at the venue, instantly to confirm whether or not a goal was scored. A cable can’t be run through ice, the goal gets hit by athletes skating full speed and a puck traveling over 100 MPH, and the mobile band is saturated by the fans in the arena. During this session attendees will explore the ways to implement, install, and support a 60GHZ wireless video camera system that can deliver a clear, uncompressed HD signal up to 500 meters. They will also get to understand the technical and implementation challenges the NHL overcame and be able to add this insight into their projects to bridge the gap where traditional cable and wireless won’t work.
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Call 949-777-5435 to speak with one of our sales engineers. We will help you design, configure and rollout a a wireless video system that will meet all your needs and solve your current television distribution issues.
For reliable sports broadcasts, the National Hockey League continues to rely on VidOvation’s wireless video camera’s.
This replay still-frame on the left was a potentially game tying goal between the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals this last weekend that was assumed to hit the top of the net inside the goal, however, upon goal-cam replay by our wireless video camera’s we see that it bounced off the cross bar.
On the left is a beauty shot from our wireless video camera capturing a great shot against the Minnesota Wild in the last 2.7 seconds of another recent game by T.J. Oshie, right wing of the St. Louis Blues.
Custom Sports Video Camera Design for Live Broadcasting
Let us help you develop the ideal video coverage solution for your sports league!
Check out this White Paper on designing this wireless video cameras for the NHL.
TORONTO—The White House has its Situation Room. The National Hockey League has one, too. Unlike the White House version, the NHL Situation Room is solely concerned with hockey; specifically, live monitoring of all the plays taking place in up to 16 simultaneous NHL games/feeds across North America.
The NHL Situation Room is located in a 10th floor office inside a tower adjacent to Toronto’s Air Canada Center, in the heart of downtown.
The room itself measures about 20×40 square feet in size. Walk in, and the first thing you see is the front wall HD video display along one of the walls. The overhead projector-driven central screen measures nearly 7 feet diagonally, and can be split to show 16 separate video windows. Since there are 30 teams in the NHL, this means that the central screen can show all 15 games at once, with one video window to spare.
Looking towards this screen is “The Bridge,” the room’s length-wise control center, where the day’s game managers stay in close contact with game officials. This is where Mike Murphy and his key people sit when the games are on; eyes glued to the TVs, and watching the overhead red strobe lights that flash whenever a call is coming in from a game. (There’s too much going on in the NHL Situation Room to rely on audio telephone alerts.)
Each NHL Situation Room workstation is equipped with four 24-inch HD monitors. The first screen on the left shows the game as distributed on a satellite TV feed. The next two screens show real-time feeds direct from the arena’s on-site broadcasters (home and away) via fiber-optic cable. Thanks to satellite latency, it is common for the satellite feed to be up to 15 seconds behind the live feed.
The fourth HD screen on the right, with its screen split into four video windows, is the one that really matters. Using feeds synchronized off-site by NeuLion in New York—and fed to Toronto via fiber-optic cable—the top two windows show the two broadcast arena fiber-optic feeds. The lower two windows show the goal zones at both ends, using either an operator- selected above-net or in-goal camera. (These cameras belong to the NHL, and their feeds are only shown on air if the NHL decides to release the footage to the broadcasters.)
Live television coverage of sporting events has long been a major focus for wireless video technology. With predetermined schedules, predictable camera locations, and carefully negotiated broadcaster rights, these events are near-ideal sites for wireless technology. Prior to an event, antenna and receiver equipment can be installed in strategic locations. RF channel usage can be coordinated and tested in advance to prevent harmful interference between systems.
Many of the systems commonly used for sports today rely on private, licensed wireless frequencies. These same technologies can also be used for outdoor concerts and other forms of entertainment. Through the use of high-gain (i.e. narrow beam) antennas, potential sources of interference can be avoided. Handheld portable cameras can be equipped with omnidirectional antennas provided that adequate RF coverage can be generated in areas where the cameras will be operating. Video compression is used as needed to allow the signals from multiple cameras to fit within licensed bandwidth ranges.
News events fall into two broad categories: appointment-based and spontaneous. Appointment-based news includes events such as news conferences, public gatherings, feature stories, and other occurrences that allow a news team to pre-plan coverage and setup equipment in advance. In many ways, the technologies and practices used in this type of coverage are similar to those used in sports applications.
VidOvation is a Video Communications Company
Larry Jordan: Jim Jachetta is the Founder and President of VidOvation. For over 20 years, Jim’s been designing, integrating and delivering video, fiber optic and data communications systems and recently they’ve expanded into wireless video with some new technology being used by the NHL. Hello, Jim, welcome.
Jim Jachetta: Hi, thanks for having me. Pleasure to be here.
Larry Jordan: We are delighted to have you with us and let’s start with a really easy question. First, tell us about what VidOvation is.
Jim Jachetta: VidOvation is a video communications company. We manufacture solutions for wireless, solutions for fiber optic transmission, for webcasting, we make encoders to stream video over your corporate network or through the internet, but in a nutshell we help our clients move video from Point A to Point B and our tagline is ‘Moving video forward’, so we’re staying up to date with the latest technologies such as what we did for the National Hockey League, using 60 gigahertz transmission for uncompressed wireless video.
Larry Jordan: Let’s just take a second. We understand that you guys are in the business of moving video, but you’re one of the founders of the company. Why did you decide to start the company? What made that so intriguing to you?
Jim Jachetta: Well, I guess I have my dad to blame for that. My dad had an entrepreneurial spirit. My dad was an engineer at ABC, CBS and his longest and final stint was at NBC, so he worked at 30 Rock for about 12 years before starting a company called MultiDyne and, as kids, my brother and I, we always worked for our dad so junior high we helped stuff circuit boards and build a lot of his audio visual equipment, so it’s in our DNA and my dad was a great problem solver and my brother and I have inherited that work ethic of doing the never been done before and solving our clients’ problems or helping with their business workflow.