MCP Looks to Keep Replay Costs Down, Quality Up With Tightrope’s ZEPLAY

Tightrope Media Systems is helping Mobile Content Providers (MCP) to produce live, instant sports replays using ZEPLAY, allowing MCP to maintain affordable rates for live sports production, while injecting fresh content into broadcasts and in-venue display screens for professional and collegiate events.

MCP offers affordable, full-service, mobile unit alternatives to generate content instead of the typical 52-foot expanding side trucks.  The ZEPLAY is integral to MCP’s workflow, delivering multiple camera angles from two compact units.  It also enables the team to quickly build show opens, highlight packages, bump-ins and other high-quality video clips with rapid turnaround.

“ZEPLAY offers stability, which is everything when a production team does a live game for a major network.  You can’t have equipment crashing, ” says Ray Colaiacovo, content development and mobile technology director for MCP.  “The ZEPLAY is rightly publicized as the fastest replay system, but without stability and ease of use there’s confusion.  You don’t have to understand a conventional replay system to operate ZEPLAY.  An online editor such as myself from outside the live sports world can learn the system very quickly because of its simple interface.”

The four-in, four-out ZEPLAY design gives MCP 16 video channels across the two units for instant replay.  This gives the production team the ability to easily scale to large camera counts, or simply have an extra ZEPLAY on backup for typical productions.

“We recently did a professional tennis event, and the master control center experienced a satellite dropout during the live broadcast,” he said.  “We recorded the program to a ZEPLAY channel on the second machine and replayed that segment from master control.  This allowed for a clean airing with no signal dropout.  Occasions like this that make our workflow extra appealing.”

Elsewhere, Colaiacovo and his team rely on ZEPLAY’s flexible tagging features for highlights and other packages, allowing operators to quickly locate player data, game information and other details.  The built-in multiviewer also enhances operating efficiency within MCP’s compact units, saving space in comparison to large monitors and multiviewer walls that require more real estate.

“Our units are not conventional 18 wheelers, and ZEPLAY gives us a solid machine with plenty of features and flexibility, and integrates well within our compact workflow,” says Colaiacovo, who is currently preparing to unleash ZEPLAY for college and high school football season.  “We simply wouldn’t be able to achieve what we do with a large, conventional, complex replay system.”