MPEG-4 Makes Coaching-Analysis Inroads at GamePlan

By Ken Kerschbaumer
MPEG-4 and its
bandwidth- and storage-saving benefits are making inroads into the
college and high school-video market as GamePlan brings the technology
to its video-production systems. “I don’t see why anyone would remain on DV when, by all accounts, users prefer the clarity of MPEG-4 to DV,” says GamePlan CEO Dave Glover.
The
addition of MPEG-4 means that GamePlan users can work in a number of native
formats, including HD, DV, MPEG-2, Windows Media, and DivX. It is also
compatible with Panasonic P2 and Ikegami SAT devices and, next quarter, with Sony
XDCAM and EX.
The flavor of MPEG-4 GamePlan is using is MPEG4 4.264. “It’s a different variant of MPEG-4 and has a lot of good controls for editing,” says Glover. “It’s very popular in Europe.”
The
GamePlan system captures video live or from tape or DVD to a computer and adds
statistical information related to a play. That allows coaches and athletes to
break down plays for training, team preparation, and analysis.
Glover
believes that custom data-logging tools and the ability to extract data from
digital media files like video, audio, or digital stills makes the GamePlan
Digital Archive and Distribution System the easiest and most cost-effective
digital-asset solution on the market. “With software priced as low as $1,500,”
says Glover, “there is a GamePlan system for any level of consumer. And now users can send in a highlights package from the field and have it automatically downloaded to a desktop and imported into Edius. The notion of a field logger is part of our MPEG-4 development.”
The
addition of MPEG-4 is important for schools looking to lower storage costs. MPEG-4
h.264, another version, stores content in half the bandwidth of MPEG-2 and delivers it in half the bandwidth. But the verision of MPEG-4 that GamePlan uses hits a three-to-one benefit. “Nebraska football was able to
archive four seasons of football video in MPEG-4 with the data included,” says
Dusty Alves, University of Nebraska football video director.
“As head
coach at Dana College, I get video that is extremely high quality and fully
functional, and I can store multiple seasons of video on my laptop,” adds Bill
Danenhauer, Dana College head football coach/athletic director. “I save a lot
of money by not having to buy expensive servers and other hardware to store
large quantities of video.”