Partnering with ShotTracker, EaseLive Turns Data into Automated Storytelling Fuel
In an age where analytics drives decisions on the field of the biggest professional sports franchises, it’s only a matter of time before real-time data generated by artificial intelligence powers the creation of live content. and on demand by sports broadcasters.
Evertz believes he’s here with the latest developments in his IP-based production suite, DreamCatcher.
Through a partnership with the ShotTracker sensor system and use of technology gained from Evertz’s acquisition last year of the interactive graphics platform Ease Live, Evertz is targeting the college athletics market with a platform he describes as “data-driven video production.” . “
Essentially, the system uses tracking data, a locked 4K camera (or other standalone cameras), and timecode synchronization with all the cameras in a broadcaster’s arsenal to tie everything together to create reruns and organized highlight packages based on real-time metadata.
The system turns data into a tool in the arsenal of storytelling. Want to get into a game by following a player’s bounces? Set metadata and a built-in highlight playlist using locked camera angles as well as all the various traditional broadcast streams that a timecode has synced into the system. Has a surprising player off the bench had a big day? Add metadata fields during or after the game and DreamCatcher will leverage the data already collected to spit out the exact content you want.
“All of this metadata, whether it’s real-time or not, adds up to the backend where you can do live production or automated live production,” explains Nima Malekmanesh, Product Marketing Manager and Senior Engineer – DreamCatcher for Evertz. “You can add and increase your production directly; your traditional proofreaders won’t have to cut the content, name it, tag it, export it. Referees would automatically see the games [in Video Assistant Refereeing] from several angles. Everything can be automated.
According to Evertz, the platform is valuable for creators of live content in three areas: highlight creation (where producers can pull data for stories), clip creation (for operators who need to focus on more than one domain when cutting reruns for live production), and for automated logging and exporting to a broadcaster’s asset management software.
In the live environment, the ability to use the 4K camera to pinch and zoom for automated camera tracking is also a big plus. Using digital zoom, DreamCatcher can isolate and track one or more players specific to your command, giving you replay to roll out based on predetermined scenarios from an unactuated camera. For on-demand content, automated clipping will also immediately cut, tag and record real-time playback. All the while syncing this locked camera source with the other broadcast cameras to create more dynamic replays, highlight packages, and even blend.
“Because we have real-time X, Y, Z data coming in through ShotTracker, with ball tracking, I can select multiple players,” Malekmanesh explains. “The image will then zoom in and out understanding that it must keep these players in the [shot] always. It’s very powerful in that sense as a coach, fan or broadcaster. There might be a catcher versus cornerback game that you want to call. You can customize and have as many of these isos as you want.
Thanks to Ease Live, the system can also put controls in the hands of the viewer. Through streaming templates, broadcasters could offer fans the ability to tailor their unique highlight packages or real-time camera tracks with interactive live graphics embedded directly into the live stream video. .
According to Evertz, more than 50 colleges, many of which are located across the SEC and ACC, are already DreamCatcher customers who have access to the technology. The full platform underwent its first true end-to-end test at the Big 12 Men basketball tournament earlier this year. Currently, the platform is naturally the most experienced in the sport of basketball, but the company claims that football and even volleyball are not far behind as AI continues to get smarter in these sports. .
Technology is maturing quickly in the eyes of Evertz engineers, and the biggest challenges right now lie in setting up workflows on the end-user side.
“Encourage production teams to adopt a new workflow [is a challenge]Says Malekmanesh. “This is where the challenges lie; the technology is actually very resilient. Make sure that schools wear the sensors, [too]. This is where the challenges lie; the technology is actually very resilient.
It is a technology that offers very interesting future prospects; a future where analytics will not only force baseball teams to move onto the field, but dictate the content creation methods of sports content rights holders large and small.