Vizrt Harvester, Viz Libero Take Analysis to Next Level

One of the hot new trends in sports-production tools is giving production professionals working in a broadcast center on studio or postgame shows more access to fresh camera angles and content that historically has resided only on the video servers at the venue. The Harvester, to be introduced by Vizrt early next year, and an updated Viz Libero promise the next leap in such capabilities.

“There are more and more requests from our clients to integrate more into the studio as they are doing less and less in the truck,” says Dr. Stephan Würmlin Stadler, EVP, sports, Vizrt, of the production needs of halftime or postgame shows. “In the truck, they have access to all the great camera angles, but the studio only gets the program feed.”

Harvester solves that via a rack-mountable box placed in the OB unit and connected to the EVS or other replay servers. The user can define triggers for content transfer so that a single push of a button allows, for example, multiple angles of a score or other event to be transferred with a certain amount of pre- and post-roll, from specific cameras, and in specific formats to specific destinations.

Content transfers can be triggered manually by a user at a touchscreen or computer (by, for example, tapping on the word goal, yellow card) or automatically with the use of scoring data.

“A journalist in the stands can be watching the game and then click a button to trigger a predetermined number of angles of a play and the amount of pre- and post-roll for each as well as metadata,” says Stadler. Simultaneously, that material can be delivered to a Vizrt media-asset–management (MAM) system or to Libero for creation of graphical analysis.

“The Libero operator just has to go back to the clip cue to see the next clip with all of the synched angles,” adds Stadler. “In the past, users would need to wait for a commercial and then have the EVS operator feed the signals to the studio. That could cause a mess, whereas this has everything resynched and smoothed out automatically.”

The system is not attempting to replicate the EVS IP Director or other EVS products. It is instead designed to make Vizrt tools more robust with such features as the ability to tie in with scoring data so that transfers can be done without any human intervention.

The ability for Libero operators to “harvest” clips isn’t the only expansion of Libero capabilities. The Viz Arena graphics system can now work without getting data from the camera head, a move that cuts setup time from one or two days to 10-20 minutes. In addition, as long as live graphics are not needed to be available in camera images simultaneously, a single Viz Arena system can support multiple cameras. For example, the main live camera and cameras used only for replays can share the same unit.

“The new Viz Arena system tracks the camera movement using only the image, without the need for a mechanical tracker,” says Stadler. “It is also now integrated with the EVS controller so, if something happens, the user can highlight it and tie a graphic to the field in about six seconds.”