Orad MVP goes virtual without camera, lens modifications

By Ken Kerschbaumer

Virtual graphic systems have evolved over the years but one constant has been the need for camera and lens modifications. Orad Hi-Tec Systems is looking to change that with the MVP sports enhancement platform that debuts at NAB floor this year and the company says it provides a comprehensive video and graphic enhancement system for any type of sports event.

“Right now, a lot of graphic-enhancement systems require camera and lens modifications and technical gyrations,” says Shaun Dail, VP, North America sales and marketing. “Orad pioneered the enhancement market 13 years ago, and now we’re jumping to the next level as far as usability.”

Compatible with either HD or SD content, MVP supports up to 16 different cameras without lens or camera modifications. Using a simple GUI, any object, including multiple players from different teams, the ball and the referees can all be tracked.

The system is so flexible that broadcasters can use their own graphic elements or choose from elements available within the system. The elements can include trajectories, highlights, arrows, player’s name, glow elements, stats and more. The graphic element follows the tracked object as the play progresses. The MVP operator can easily define and control when a certain graphic element will be displayed and then disappear.

By taking advantage of MVP’s embedded chromakey, the chosen graphic elements can either be keyed over the playing field or drawn as foreground elements.

Orad’s MVP also provides a Chronoscope feature which enables broadcasters to display selected objects during the replay of key events. The Chronoscope generates a “video shadow” of the selected object, providing the viewer with the ability to clearly view the path of the selected object. For example, it can track the baseball during a baseball game and show the exact angle and path of the pitch.

MVP’s Magnifying Glass feature allows a tighter zoom than the original camera zoom, enabling the viewer to see for himself if a call was right or wrong. The Magnifying Glass tool is dynamic and can follow the play rather than be limited to a single frame.

Orad’s MVP’s Tracked Telestrator module enables commentators and analysts to provide viewers with a visual explanation of how a key event progressed, the key players involved, the play’s strategy and more. Using the Tracked Telestration module, the analyst can control the playback of the video and add additional freehand drawings of his own, highlighting key points during the replay. Like all of MVP’s graphic enhancements, the Telestration graphics are tracked, can be displayed either on the field or with screen coordinates, and can be keyed over the playing field or displayed as a foreground element.

Based on patented image analysis technology, MVP can easily generate tracking information based on the analysis of the video image. This eliminates the need for expensive and time-consuming camera modifications and provides unprecedented flexibility and cost-savings. MVP can be installed either in the OB VAN or in the studio, serving both live sporting events and highlight shows. MVP can also be used for archived video.

“With MVP, most sports [producers] will be able to run virtual graphics from master control,” says Dail. “They won’t need a technician.”