SVG, OATSystems, Bexel trial RFID at Super Bowl

The Sports Video Group (SVG) recently selected OATSystems for an RFID pilot study designed to track video production equipment at Super Bowl XLI. The pilot project was coordinated with Bexel, the leading video rental resource in the USA and principal supplier of broadcast rental equipment for this year’s event.

“A Super Bowl game is arguably one of the most complex U.S. sporting events broadcast each year,” said Martin Porter, SVG Executive Director. “It requires an enormous effort to coordinate, especially in tracking and managing the many loose pieces of highly advanced and sophisticated video production equipment necessary to produce and televise the event.”

Porter says SVG’s membership urged the association to explore the usage of RFID auto identification technology to track the rental equipment that is delivered on site at large live events. “we have learned a tremendous amount about how this process needs to employed over the coming years as a result of the study we conducted with Bexel and OATSystems’ support at Super Bowl XLI,” adds Porter.

In the trial Bexel, a leading provider of broadcast equipment to live events, tracked more than 300 flight cases of cameras, editors, digital video recorders, monitors, and other video equipment to meet production objectives and deadlines at the event. This equipment had to be dispersed to numerous editing trucks, locations within the stadium, and offsite locations to support producers, production editors, cameramen and technicians.

For the Super Bowl this year, Bexel’s gear was shipped from two locations and it was tagged, inventoried and managed throughout the ten-day pilot using RFID tags, OAT developed the necessary database software and provided handheld readers for the project.

Traditionally, manual methods have been used to locate, distribute and track equipment at live events.. With television’s tight production deadlines, high stakes, and slim margins for error, broadcasters are eager to explore the application of RFID to help them manage the inventory and its deployment in less time and less margin for error.

The pilot study’s solution uses OATSystems’ OAT Foundation Suite to encode, manage and track the equipment’s RFID tags. By recording the receipt of equipment onsite and recording when it is checked out to remote locations, this solution will enable personnel to find equipment quickly within the production compound.

“Getting the right video equipment to the right place at the right time is crucial to producing and televising such a prominent and complex event as the Super Bowl,” states Bexel Broadcast Services Group’s, Lee Estroff. “I firmly believe that this pilot study was an excellent first step in developing a solution to this common live broadcast challenge faced by Bexel and its customers.”

“OATSystems recognizes that producing a highly visible event like the Super Bowl requires a mission-critical, accurate and a highly reliable solution. We’re pleased to be part of this ongoing development project by SVG, Bexel and their partners,” said Paul Cataldo, OATSystems’ Vice President of Marketing.

A complete case study about this pilot project will be published by Sports Technology Journal, an industry engineering publication, in its spring 2007 edition.

About The Sports Video Group (SVG)
The Sports Video Group SVG was formed in 2006 to support the professional community that relies on video, audio, and broadband technologies to produce and distribute sports content. Leagues, owners, teams, players, broadcasters, webcasters, and consumer technology providers have joined the SVG to learn from each other, turn vision into reality, and implement new innovations, while sharing experiences that will lead to advancements in the sports production and distribution process and the overall consumer sports experience. For more information about SVG and its members visit: www.sportsvideo.org

About OAT
OATSystems, Inc., is the recognized RFID solution leader with software that empowers businesses to achieve competitive advantage from radio-frequency identification (RFID). As a pioneer in developing of RFID technology, OAT has been setting the standards in RFID for over half a decade and is responsible for industry firsts that include the largest scale and largest scope of deployments, as well as the most innovative approaches to providing enterprise-wide RFID solutions. OAT’s multinational client base consists of over 75 customers in retail, CPG, consumer electronics, manufacturing, life sciences, aerospace and defense. Headquartered in Waltham, MA, OAT has offices in London and Bangalore. To learn more about the company’s latest developments, visit the website at www.oatsystems.com.

About Bexel/Vitec Broadcast Services
Bexel is a division of The Vitec Group (LSE: VTC), a UK-based broadcast manufacturer and service provider. Bexel was founded in 1981 and is the world’s leading provider of broadcast rental equipment and system design, operating from a network of offices located in ten primary US production cities. One of its divisions, Bexel Broadcast Services, sets the worldwide standard for major event production support and delivers customized, turn-key equipment packages, engineering and technical advice. Another, Broadcast Video Gear, sells premiere used and refurbished equipment. For more information about Bexel, visit the company’s web site at www.bexel.com.