There are many elements involved to create a sports production broadcast that should be addressed to give students the most real-world experience while providing a high quality product for the viewing audience.
These elements include multiple camera angles, sideline content, stats, replay, and possibly the most important piece, graphics.
Every professional sports broadcast on any channel has a slick graphics package that keeps the viewer updated on score, time remaining, player names, and any other important information related to the game. This has become an integral part of sports production and the demand has trickled down to the high school level. Many software programs and switchers have different options for graphics, but most lack the professionalism that audiences have come to expect. After doing some pricing of what the “ESPN’s” of the world use for graphics, I realized if we ever wanted to have something at the high school level, I would need to find an affordable solution.
This is where Graphics Outfitters, based out of Carlsbad, California entered the picture.
They are a graphics solutions company that works with the big production houses like Fox Sports, CBS, and ESPN. However, they also make products that are high school budget friendly. This means that local high schools now have the option to have ESPN style graphics at a fraction of the cost.
After speaking with the Rich, the owner, we decided the most affordable product that would meet our needs was ScoreHD. This is a program that they have custom built for usability and professional versatility. If you can imagine a graphic you want to show, they have already thought about it and have it integrated into the software. You can literally do everything ESPN does with animated graphics, stat tracking, full screen playback, and much more. The user interface is extremely easy to learn and a high school student can pick it up in less than 30 minutes.
Graphics Outfitters has made their software very high school friendly with different features. One is the ability to download and use rosters directly from MaxPreps. You can copy and paste a link, and within a few seconds have an entire team’s roster ready for animated graphic display. They also have different ways to reveal sponsor information during a game which now becomes a revenue generator for your program. The features are far too many to include in this article, so check out the demo link at the end and see everything ScoreHD can do.
We also purchased ScoreOCR which has made keeping up with a game clock a thing of the past. You simply take an extra camera and point it at the scoreboard. Utilizing the software, it interprets the data from the scoreboard camera and places it into your graphics automatically. We no longer touch a game clock. It is completely automatic based on whatever displays on the venue scoreboard.
One of the greatest benefits of both programs, is that they can be run on a laptop. No more hauling around giant computer systems and breakout boxes. Everything you need is in one computer than can literally go anywhere. One of the compliments about our broadcasts that is shared the most is how amazing and professional our graphics look.
The pricing for high schools breaks down like this. A school must first purchase a one- time render license which is $1,999. There are other options depending on what equipment you may already have in place. After the render license, each sport/app is $499. You only purchase the sports you need when you need them.
Over the past few years that we have worked with Graphics Outfitters, we have seen amazing changes in their software that has taken our productions to a whole new level. They continue to develop the programs to meet the needs of high schools and allow us to train our students with professional software and provide our audience with unprecedented graphics at a local level.
Our CHSLive example of football last season using the old version of ScoreHD: https://vimeo.com/144416432
ScoreHD Basketball full demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWNSB_Fvqns
You can see all of their product offerings at: http://www.graphicsoutfitters.com/