St. John’s, CBS Sports Network Produce National HD Broadcasts Over Public IP

Using public IP as a delivery method for television sports broadcasts is a subtly growing trend – schools like New Hampshire and UMass have used it for local broadcasts – but the technology is still too young for most national broadcasters to truly trust. CBS Sports Network (CBSSN), however, has given the technological advance a whirl and, as recently as last weekend, successfully produced a live broadcast for national distribution.

STJ-TV, CBSSN successfully produced and delivered HD baseball broadcasts for national television through the public Internet.

CBSSN teamed up with St. John’s Athletics to produce three Red Storm baseball games vs. Seton Hall from Jack Kaiser Stadium in Queens, NY, without the use of a satellite truck and by delivering an HD signal over public IP to CBS Sports Network studios.

“This is really exciting, breakthrough stuff,” says Mark Fratto, senior associate athletics director for communications at St. John’s.

STJ-TV, the university’s newly established broadcast platform, produced the games, using a NewTek Tricaster 850 Extreme for a four-camera HD telecast with full graphics integration, replay, announcers, and commercial spots.

The entire HD telecast was transmitted to CBSSN without satellite or fiber. Instead, the signal was encoded on VidyoCast’s latest H.264-SVC encoder and sent over the public Internet.

“We’re pleased to partner with STJ-TV on this innovative delivery method, which resulted in three successful telecasts,” says Walter Raps, chief technical officer, CBS Sports Network. “Our use of VidyoCast in the production of The Tim Brando Show made us confident in the technology, and we’re excited about the possibilities this cloud-based production approach can provide CBS Sports Network in the future.”

STJ-TV produced the games and used a NewTek Tricaster 850 Extreme for the four-camera HD telecasts.

STJ-TV used three Canon XF305 cameras with one Sony EX3 camcorder mounted with a Canon interchangeable lens for the three-game series. The production was crewed by a 15-person team, a combination of local television professionals and undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in a video-production course at St. John’s.

STJ-TV generates video content for St. John’s Athletics, including the official athletics Website RedStormSports.com, as well as third-party outlets. STJ-TV has produced more than 10 live events during the 2011-12 season, all in Full HD, for such outlets as SNY and ESPN3.

“We have a video-production operation that benefits our entire university,” says Fratto. “The St. John’s Television Network gives undergraduate students a chance to learn and contribute to actual telecasts by experiencing hands-on HD sports production. We think this model will be tough to beat in terms of the quality versus the cost.”

Learn more about transmitting an HD signal over IP for broadcast during a special workshop panel featuring St. Johns’ Mark Fratto at the College Sports Video Summit in Atlanta June 6 and 7.