XOS Storms Into Live-Production Market With Hurricane HD Replay

XOS Digital has officially entered the live-production market with the Hurricane HD Replay system. Long known as a provider of coaching and officiating solutions, XOS has waded into live-event production over the past year, integrating several control rooms at pro and college venues. Hurricane, however, represents the company’s first product offering in the live-production space.

“With all of our experience in replay for officiating and knowing that there is a huge need for replay in the production business, we felt like we could develop something to fill that void,” says Director of Sales & Business Development Bryan Bedford. “This puts us in a whole new market category than we’ve ever been in before: out of the officiating and coaching space and truly into the live-production space.”

Developed in conjunction with Drastic Technologies, Hurricane HD is a multichannel, multispeed slow-motion instant-replay system that allows the operator to control all functions via a single external custom controller. Hurricane is expandable up to eight channels and can store up to 77 hours of content on hot-swappable RAID 6 storage arrays.

Filling the Mid-Market Void
XOS sees Hurricane as a viable option for college and professional venues that lack the budget for a top-tier EVS server but still require certain high-end replay features in their live-event production operations.

“As we looked at the replay market and evaluated the products that were out there, it seemed like there was a pretty substantial gap in price and feature set between what is considered low-end and something like an EVS XT2 or XT3,” says Director of Product Development Tom Fuller. “There was a need — primarily in basketball and football — for some additional features that you didn’t see in the lower price range.”

This palette of features includes support for a variety of SD/HD-SDI formats and codecs, multitrack digital audio support, graphics functionality, dissolves and wipes, playlist and highlight creation, content management for clip recalls, customizable clip bins, and compatibility with leading editing systems, such as Apple Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere.

“We have plug-ins that allow an Abode Premiere or Apple Final Cut system to access our system in real time,” says Fuller. “That allows you to have a PA doing a postgame show while [the game is still being played] by accessing those files as they’re recorded rather than having to wait until the game is over.”

Hurricane’s base channel configuration is three-in, one-out but can be scaled up to eight channels in and two channels out.

“The price will depend on the configuration obviously, but, compared to high-end systems on the market now, you are probably looking at two to three times lower,” says Bedford. “We are looking for schools, teams, and venues who need a more affordable solution that can still perform at a high level.”

For Beginners and Veterans Alike
XOS also took into account that many college venues around the country lack a true replay veteran in the control room. As a result, Hurricane’s user interface is designed to allow a novice to operate the system but offers more-advanced features for more-experienced users.

“In the mid-major college market, the guy running the system isn’t necessarily a 10-year veteran like you would see on a truck or at a studio production facility, so we tried to make it very easy to use with a very short learning curve,” says Fuller. “In a matter of minutes, I can train someone to use this system on a basic level. But we’ve also added the powerful features that we feel are most important in this market.”

In addition, XOS partnered with JL Cooper to build an external controller that is tightly integrated with the Hurricane interface.

“The primary interface to the system is through the external controller,” says Fuller. “It’s tailored for a specific level of user, like a grad assistant or intern, someone who has familiarity with computers but may be new to video production. It’s laid out in a very logical way so you can make marks or assign clips to bins right from the controller.”

On the Show Floor
At the NAB Show in April, XOS conducted a private preview among customers and partners including University of Georgia, Michigan State University, University of Iowa, and University of Kentucky as well as Bexel.

“We wanted to get some direct market feedback from people who really know this market,” says Bedford. “I think the general consensus was very positive across the board.”

Available June 1, XOS Hurricane will be on display in the XOS Digital booth at SVG’s College Sports Summit in Atlanta June 8-9.