Fall sports are just around the corner, which means many schools are looking for ways to reach a larger audience for their football games and other sports programs.
Whether you’re a booster club member, administrator, teacher, or student, you might be looking for ways to produce broadcast quality streams to alumni, family, and friends who can’t attend the big games. The biggest hurdle to producing a high-quality stream is knowing which gear to use and how to use the gear to produce the best results. Most professional video sport productions require 5 elements: shoot (cameras), switch, replay, stream and record.
This article will cover the 5 elements and suggest products from Datavideo, one of the only manufacturers that provides complete video production workflows under one brand name. There are so many ways to connect different elements together, which is why it is so important that products you buy from one manufacturer are compatible with different products. Another factor for sports production is how portable your gear is; since after each sporting event, you’ll need to pack everything up to store it in a secure place. Datavideo also has excellent solutions for portable gear which is cleverly designed for a quick setup and tear down.
If you are like most schools, you probably are using point and shoot cameras for your sporting events. In many cases it might be a simple camcorder, which might be OK for the coach, but for a live streaming audience, a one camera angle is not enough. Datavideo PTZ cameras are robotic cameras that can pan, tilt and zoom allowing volunteers to easily track the action on the field using a joystick controller. Datavideo has a complete camera package called the GO-2CAM. This comes with two 30X zoom PTZ cameras (PTC-150), the camera controller (RMC-180) a hard-shelled case with wheels (HC-800) and all the video/power cables needed. If you already have cameras with student operators, then this kit is optional for your workflow.
The main purpose for a video switcher is to allow multiple video sources to be switched from one source to another and have a main output (called program) to your audience. This allows you to have multiple camera angles to choose from, as well as inputting graphics, replay clips and audio sources. There are several solutions on the market, but Datavideo has a portable switcher that is ideal for bringing in all your media sources, which can be switched on demand. The HS-1300 is a 6-input switcher that includes XLR audio inputs to connect an audio mixer (for the play-by play announcer) as well as a 17-inch built-in monitor for previewing all your video sources, so the user can select what they want to show for “program”. HS-1300 also has a built-in keyer for graphic overlays. A keyer will allow you to bring in scoreboard templates that are displayed on the lower third of the stream. These graphics can be generated from different PC programs including PowerPoint, Graphics Outfitters and Scorekeeper.
Instant replay is an important element to live sports production. Your audience will want to see a big play reviewed in slow motion and now you can deliver this element with a portable solution called Go-1Replay Studio. This is a complete solution that includes two professional monitors, a one channel replay device called HDR-10A, and the RMC-400 replay controller. The RMC-400 can control the speed of the slow motion of the clip and will also save the clip to the hard drive of the HDR-10. These components are integrated in a rackmount enclosure which fits perfectly in a hard case with wheels.
To stream your live video, you need to take one of the program outputs from the switcher and connect it to an encoder. There are many stand-alone encoders on the market, however, if you decide to use the HS-1300 as your switcher then you don’t need to purchase an encoder since this feature is integrated into the unit. Simply connect the HS-1300 to the internet with a network cable and start your stream with a push of a button. You will want to set up your stream in advance by entering data from your platform account including a stream key. YouTube and Facebook Live are the most popular platforms since they reach a large audience without any cost to the user.
If you are using Facebook or YouTube as your platform, your video will be automatically recorded in the cloud for future playback. However, most sports producers prefer a master recording which would require a stand-alone recorder. Datavideo does offer a solution with the HDR-1 recorder, but if you decide to get the HS-1300, you are covered. The HS-1300 has an integrated recorder that allows you to insert an SD card for recording. You can start the recording with a simple push of a button.