5 Ways to Make Your Next Event a Success


October 27, 2014
Think back to the last event you attended
, Auction? Conference? Concert? Fundraiser?? Did you have to watch a blue “No Signal” screen for 5 minutes while people ran around trying to fix it? What about a simple powerpoint presentation where the clicker wouldn’t advance the slides? Speaker feedback.. that terrible loud screeching noise? I’m sure you have encountered at least one, if not all of these issues and can now recall those times.

No Signal Projector Screen
These type of moments often tend to cheapen an event, causing guests to become annoyed, frustrated or even distract them completely from the topic at hand.  You may lose valuable audience attention, followers or even money.  Learn how to spend a little extra money to earn a lot more!
Here are a few suggestions to help make your next event a success:

  • Set Up Your Equipment Well Before Your Event

Set up any equipment at least a few hours before your event is scheduled to start, or even the night before if possible! If you wait until the last minute, what are you going to do when you realize you have a MAC and not a PC and now need an entirely different cable to make everything work? If you’re doing it all on your own and haven’t given yourself time to prepare, it will be very obvious to your audience.

  • Test All Equipment Beforehand

When I say test your equipment I don’t just mean to make sure that all of the cables are plugged in properly, I mean make sure the video runs.  What if you have the projector and screen set up and have only played the first 2 minutes of the video, and two minutes into your big presentation or screening the video cuts out? If possible, run through the entire production before the event actually starts.  This includes letting the equipment rest and then testing a second time.  Maybe you didn’t realize that the projector is going to fall asleep and need 5 minutes to wake up.  Be Prepared!

  • Have Extra Batteries/Cables/Power Strips etc.

So you have completed steps one and two, everything works, you have spent an hour testing it all and feel completely prepared.  How silly are you going to feel when you’re in the middle of your presentation slide show and the clicker starts to run out of power.  The hundreds of dollars you spent on the projector, screen, cables and computer.. The countless hours putting together the slides.. and now you look less prepared because of a couple AA batteries.  Have a simple emergency kit!

  • Know Your Event Venue/Space

Did you know that you will need an entirely different set up for your sound system if you are in a gymnasium than you will if you’re in a carpeted auditorium? Sound reacts differently based on the size of the venue, as well as the type of ground and walls that you are working with.  This will determine what type of speakers you need, how many and where you place them.  Also, what if your ideal location for your staging is on the North side of the venue and you don’t realize until day of that there are no power outlets there.  If you only got 50 feet of cable, you probably are going to have to change your entire set up at the last minute.

  • Hire Professionals

Although I completely understand the “I can do it myself” mentality, sometimes it is worth hiring professionals.  I can absolutely paint my own house, it will be less expensive, it might not even look terrible, but it will still be obvious it wasn’t done by a professional.  The same can be said for renting and setting up the audiovisual equipment for your next event.  On the short end, it will save you the headache and time spent trying to make sure all of the details are correct.  On the long end, you could save valuable money and resources.  If you can’t screen the movie or show the auction items to bid on at your event, you could lose money.  At a conference, you could lost the attention of your entire audience if your microphone is continually emitting feedback or you can’t advance your slides.

You may read all of this and still think you are 100% capable of handling all of your event needs, which is great! But it still never hurts to give the professionals a call.  We at LCS will always provide free advice, suggestions and a quote with all of the materials we think you need based on your venue.  At lease that will give you a little peace of mind and won’t cost you a penny.

I Don’t Need A/V Equipment.. Do I?

Small Conference in Thousand Oaks

idea-xxlOctober 8 , 2014

In my marketing efforts the two questions I hear most often are, “Why would I need A/V equipment??” or “Oh, weddings and bar mitzvahs, right??”
It didn’t take me long to discover that it isn’t my job to SELL audiovisual equipment or find the biggest partner to rent to or work with (of course that would be nice too!).  It’s my job to be an educator, an informer and to put a face to an industry that not many people know about!
As I begin to tell people what we can do I immediately see lightbulbs going off in their heads, “Ohhh, you’re those guys!”  So I wanted to take a few minutes to explain what it really is that we do, how you can use our services and how to spot us behind the scenes at the next event you attend!

  • Anything with the word “Gala” “Fundraiser” “Auction” “

If you’re in the industry of supporting events your ears will always peak at any of these words.  When I hear “Gala” I think, fancy.. ergo pretty lighting, a man in a tux on a mic, maybe a live band with great acoustics so speakers, microphones, the whole deal.  “Fundraiser” and “Auction” are both along these lines as well.  Every auctioneer needs to be heard so that requires a good PA system specific for the venue type and a cordless mic.  And you can’t forget a rear projector and screen, I mean how are the people going to bid if they can’t see what they’re bidding on!

  • Anything advertising “Live Entertainment”

Any event advertising “Live Entertainment” must think about what kind of venue it is to determine the speaker and microphone situation.  A big metal box is going to need a different type of set up than a gym or concert hall would need.  This is when our experts come in to tell you exactly what type of equipment you will need, from the location, size of the PA system, and type of microphones.

  • Any type of “Conference” or “Seminar”

When was the last time you went to a large gathering with 1 – 3 people speaking (think church, conference, concert, etc..) and the venue did not have video playback? For those of you who don’t know what video playback is, not to worry.  Video playback is what you see on the screens to the right and the left of the stage at one of these events, where you can see the speaker(s) so that you do not have to be in the front row to actually know what’s going on.  This is when you see the guys dressed in all black behind or to the side of the audience on their various small podiums manning the video cameras.

  • Production Support

Production support is really just a fancy way of saying that many companies that produce movies, short films, commercials and other videos do not own all of the equipment they need for every event.  Maybe a project they are working on requires 5 camera angles and they only have 4 cameras.  This is where a rental company comes in.  We will support them by bringing that one extra camera and possibly the person to run it as well if they need.  Anyone in the film/video production industry can be a great partner for a rental house.

In short, we’re the guys that get called when someone needs anything that has to do with audio or visual recording or events, whether the event is tomorrow or two years from now!

By: Lacey Foss
https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=209933037&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic

Rent vs Own – Audio Visual Equipment

October 1, 2014   –    By: Lacey Foss

The idea of “Rent vs. Own”For RENT in the current economy has become a huge discussion with lengthy pro and con debates, whether the subject is your next home, car, or even a boat. When it comes to audio visual equipment, large companies, schools, hotels and event spaces all must have the same conversation. Is it worth the cost to buy the projectors, the screens, the wireless microphones and all of the other equipment needed to provide for their event space? What about the other costs incurred by owning this equipment?
So why is it better to rent? Here are some reasons:

  • Minimal Responsibility – When you buy, for example, a 2 speaker fancy new PA system you may spend a couple thousand.  Think of this “investment” long term.  Is it insured? For how long? And if so, when you take it in for repairs what are you going to use in the mean time? With equipment rentals this is not a factor, the rental company is responsible for all maintenance and  insuring that the speakers are in top working order at all times.  Also, what about when this equipment is out of date? Do you remember when everything started to switch to HD and your TV only had one, or maybe no HD port? This is not a factor with rentals.  The rental company is responsible for making sure every piece of equipment is up to date and compatible with the entire production.
  • Lower Costs Incurred – From maintenance to having experts on site who are familiar with the equipment, simply owning the equipment isn’t always enough.  Also, if you have an event space, the cost of renting the microphones, staging, speakers, lighting and everything else can be passed onto the client, so you can ensure the client top tier service without having to do anything other than make a simple phone call, to us of course!
  • Flexibility –  Even if you own an arsenal of equipment, it is very difficult to cover all of your bases and make sure everyone has exactly what they need.  For example, maybe you have 10 meeting spaces and 20 microphones, however a client wants to come in and run simultaneous meetings with three speakers a piece? 20 microphones may have sounded like plenty before, but now something as simple as microphones could make or break your relationship with that client.  Another example, what if that same client wants a 27′ projector screen and you only carry 24′?

Maybe in your particular industry you have exactly what you need for the space you provide.  Excellent.  However are there any negatives to having an audiovisual rental company on hand that you trust? For that “just incase” moment?
With rentals, you can be sure that you always have exactly what you need, exactly when you need it.

No Limit to Our Creations

As many may (or may not) know, we rent out a large variety of different audiovisual equipment. Put simply, you need a microphone? Super.. Projector? Even better. But does anyone truly know what our capabilities are? Why don’t you find out! Beyond renting these single items, the crew here at LCS is full of technical engineers of sorts. These guys love to be challenged. Call them up and really try to stump them with your event needs and they will come through.
LED Wall
Click on the image to check out these guys building an LCD wall in the 105 degree heat of Pasadena, CA. So do we rent microphoneS? Speakers? Screens? Absolutely, but I have to say there are truly no limits to what we can create here.

Jimmy Kimmel Moves to LED Lighting With Cineo

LOS ANGELES—I’m the lighting designer for ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” show and a couple of years ago I was asked by the show’s producers about transitioning the production to LED lighting. I told them that at that time the technology was getting a lot better, but was not quite to the point where I was ready to deploy it.

We revisited the subject of LED last December and I felt that based on what I had seen at the Live Design International show last fall—after short-listing some manufacturers— we could proceed with an LED makeover.

TIME FOR SOME CHANGES

The show originates from the historic El Capitan Theater, a Hollywood landmark, and this presented some real challenges in terms of air conditioning, as we are limited in the scope of infrastructure changes that can be done at such a protected facility. I wanted to use this opportunity not just to take advantage of the power and HVAC savings that LED illumination would bring, but also to do a relight for the show as we shoot it today, as opposed to the show 10 years ago when we first did the lighting.. The show has changed over the years and we shoot it very differently now—it’s not just a desk, a chair, and a couch situation at “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” We use every inch of the studio and I need to be ready for whatever Jimmy and his writers come up with.

As mentioned, the show has been on the air for a decade and I was looking for technology that would last for at least another 10 years.

One of my biggest concerns is color shift over time, as I’ve seen some LED lighting equipment become unusable due to blue or green shift in just two or three years. I wanted to be sure that didn’t happen with the equipment we purchased.

CRI (color rendering index) or the “quality of the light” was also very important to me. When we asked manufacturers to bring products to us for evaluation we would look at a wide range of skin tones and color swatches on our cameras. We also looked at how we could shape the light with diffusion, barn doors, snoots and how we would use the lights in our space.

Cineo’s TruColor fixtures were unique in our evaluation as they use “remote phosphor” technology. The way the fixtures create high-quality soft light is like nothing else. They were the best-looking products evaluated, hands down. Due to the technology Cineo uses, the color temperature will never change and the CRI is the closest you can get to an incandescent source. The color temperature can be accurately set in steps from 2700 K to 6500 K, also allowing me to use this color temperature option as a tool. The CRI measurement for the TruColor fixtures was the best I could find—98; brighter than a 2 kW soft light and it operates on less than 450 Watts. I used both large and small TruColor fixtures to replace all of our soft lights and the results have been outstanding.

Christian Hibbard is an Emmy-nominated Los Angeles-based lighting designer and photographer with more than 20 years of network television experience. He may be contacted at www.christianhibbard.com.

For additional information, contact Cineo Lighting at 310-425-3425 or visit www.cineolighting.com.

New Prompting Company & Product

FAIRFIELD, CONN.— CueScript, a newly-formed provider of prompting solutions launched recently by industry veterans Michael Accardi, Peter Carey and Brian Larter, has announced the launch of its first product, the CSM17 17-inch LED High Brightness HD-SDI Prompter Monitor.

The CSM17 was built from a blank canvas, based on the company’s depth of experience in and knowledge of the industry as well as feedback from users in the field, according to Accardi.

“We are very excited to not only launch our company, CueScript, here at this year’s NAB show,” says Michael Accardi, President, CueScript, “But also to share with attendees the technology behind the CSM17 Prompter Monitor. Brian, Peter and I are committed to providing innovative solutions for the industry’s ever-changing needs and look forward to sharing our future hardware and software offerings in the coming months.”

The CSM17 features low energy consumption and a low power start up, two of the top requirements in today’s diverse range of production environments. Its three-mode adjustable power input includes low (26 watts), medium (30 watts) and high (38 watts). It also features an integrated mounting system, low profile design and an increased viewing angle (170 x 16) for easier screen readability.

Moreover, built-in LED cue lights come standard with the CSM17, something that is not often an add-on option in this product category. In addition, CueScript takes this feature to the next level and offers LED adjustable brightness and 180-degree viewing, providing the tools and applications necessary for a variety of productions from an evening newscast to a light entertainment program. Finally, the CSM17 meets the following requirements: CE, TUV, FCC, C-Tick, PSE, RoHs.

Sound Devices Recorders Now Shipping

REEDSBURG, WIS.—Sound Devices announced its Pix 270i, 250i and 970 are now shipping. These rack-mounted products are now available through the Sound Devices network of authorized resellers and distributors.

Pix 270i and Pix 250i replace tape- and disc-based video decks and address a range of multiple-source video productions, including studio applications, live sports and events and mobile production. The units record edit-ready Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHD files and allow simultaneous multiple-drive recording, with redundancy and backup capabilities (four drives for Pix 270i and two drives for Pix 250i). Additionally, file transfer and machine control is available over gigabit Ethernet. Their audio capabilities include 64 channels of both MADI audio and Dante audio-over-Ethernet for Pix 270i, and Pix 250i’s 16 tracks of audio, make each unit a comprehensive, cost-effective replacement for complex video servers and an effective tool for high-performance video production.

Sound Devices 970 is the company’s first dedicated audio-only rack-mounted recorder, which has 64 channels of recording from Dante and MADI sources. The half-rack, 2U device records 64 channels of monophonic or polyphonic 24-bit WAV files from any of its 144 available inputs. Inputs available include 64 channels of Ethernet-based Dante, 64 channels of optical or coaxial MADI, eight channels of line-level analog and eight channels of AES digital.

Any input can be assigned to any track. In addition, 32-track recording at 96 kHz is supported. The 970 records to any of four attached drives, which include two front-panel drive bays and two rear-panel e-SATA connected drives. Material can be recorded to multiple drives simultaneously or sequentially. This eliminates time-consuming post-record copying and allows for continuous long-form, high-track count recordings.

SOURCE: http://www.tvtechnology.com/article/sound-devices-recorders-now-shipping/270148

Canon Cameras Are a Natural for Cinematic Storytelling

LOS ANGELES—It all comes down to telling great stories and although there are different types of them, the nature of the story itself may change how I capture it. To decide, I collaborate with a director of photography and ask what type of camera they think is best for each project from a creative perspective.

We discuss the look I want for the story and then the DP and I will choose the camera.

Whatever your choice, the camera must serve the story and not take away from it. You also want to use equipment that isn’t complicated. I don’t want to spend too much time dealing with technology; the technology should just work.

Although I can’t speak to the technical aspects of various cameras, I can say that for me, Canon cameras satisfy my requirements and they also produce the cinematic and filmic look I like.

WORKS WELL WITH AVAILABLE LIGHTING

As an example, we were asked to do a shoot in a manufacturing plant as part of a car ad campaign. Space was tight, so we needed a camera that wasn’t big and cumbersome. Also, we couldn’t bring in a lot of people or a big array of lighting equipment and we needed a camera that was flexible and would work well with the illumination already in the plant. The Canon EOS C300 was a perfect fit. I like the look it provides, and it’s great with low light and very flexible in different lighting conditions. I also like how its slow-motion works almost like a film camera in that it’s done in-camera; you don’t have to slow it down in post.

Another recent assignment had us working on a project involving a retired Baltimore police officer, shooting in some of the neighborhoods where he’d worked, as well as inside some police stations. It was essential to keep a low profile and the compact design of the Canon camera was great for that. The camera is also userfriendly, so you can get by with a much smaller crew.

Lens choice depends on the project; I’ve used Canon EF prime and zoom lenses, and pretty much every other kind of Canon lens and think they’re all great.

SMALL PROFILE DOESN’T DISTRACT

Aiming a camera at a person will always change their behavior in some way, but by using Canon’s EOS 5D Mark III and EOS 7D models, we can make them more comfortable than they would be facing a big camera and crew.

The small physical size of the EOS 5D Mark III and the EOS 7D cameras mean that they don’t draw attention, so they’re really great for keeping other people in the street from getting in the way when we’re doing location shots and street interviews.

I can also tell you that there were no post issues with our Canon cameras. It was a smooth process. My DP shot in Canon Log with the EOS C300 camera, so there was plenty of room to adjust the visuals in post. Canon seems like it’s really connecting with filmmakers in terms of its outreach.

SOURCE: http://www.tvtechnology.com/news/0086/canon-cameras-are-a-natural-for-cinematic-storytelling/269870

 

Countryman B2D Lavalier Microphone

Noisy environments are always a challenge when it comes to picking up good audio. This is particularly true when the noise seems to come from everywhere. Convention floors full of talking people, noisy restaurants, industrial locations with machinery, even TV studios with loud HVAC systems can raise the noise floor. And when that audio gets compressed and limited for broadcasting, the noise isn’t on the floor anymore, it’s unpleasantly up around your armpits.

Live events that require a public address system to amplify voices can also be a challenge. With omni lavalier microphones, you can only turn up the p.a. so far before the mics start picking up p.a. audio, making the sound diffuse and echoey. And if the p.a. gain is increased a little more you’re into feedback.

If you don’t want to go handheld or head/ ear-worn mics, one solution might be the low-profile Countryman B2D hypercardioid lav. At just 2.5mm in diameter (about the size of a No. 2 pencil lead), it’s smaller than many omni lavs. Video producers like that.

FEATURES

The Countryman B2D is available in five different colors; white, black and three shades of light to dark skin tones. It also comes in three sensitivities: B2DW4 (grey band), B2DW5 (red band) and B2DW6 (blue band). The standard B2DW4 is the most sensitive at 6.0 mV/Pascal. The overload sound level is 120 dB SPL. This mic is the choice for most applications.

The mid-sensitivity B2DW5 (red band) sports a lower sensitivity (2.0 mV/Pascal) and an overload sound level point of 130 dB SPL. It’s more useful when worn closer to the face where the voice would be louder. (This could be on a pair of tricked out spectacles or in the hairline of a theatrical performer.)

The B2DW6 (blue band) is the least sensitive (0.6 mV/Pascal) and its overload sound level is 140 dB SPL. It’s probably the way to go if you’re mic-ing opera singers or South American soccer announcers.

All small diaphragm lavs have more self-noise than lavs with larger diaphragms. If you’re in a really quiet environment, you’ll hear this as hiss. However, if your ambient noise is high enough, it will mask the self-noise.

The Countryman microphone people have designed their five-foot mic cables to end with a threaded fitting, and this fitting mates with a large variety of optional connectors: XLR, Hirose 4-pin, Switchcraft TA3F/ TA4F/TA5F, 3.5 mm locking plug, LEMO 3-pin, and the like, allowing it to work with a variety of popular wireless transmitters and other devices.

Connectors may also be ordered that feed just one channel through a 1/8-inch miniature TRS plug.

As these terminations are simple screw on/off, you can use the same mic with different terminations for different setups—hardwired one day or wireless the next.

These cables are thicker and more robust than the Countryman B6 mic cabling, which claims that they can withstand a tug of 45 pounds. They look and feel as if they will last a long time and are also flexible and easy to work with.

As the mic is directional, making sure that it’s placed correctly is absolutely essential. There are three different clips: single mic, double mic and single magnetic backmount. Common to all is a swivel that allows the mic or mics to be properly aimed at the talent’s face after the clip has been secured. Without this feature, the B2D would be difficult to use as it’s possible that the mic may not be aimed properly. All of the B2D mics come with the standard single clip.

These clips also have a small cable hanger that acts as a strain relief and a sound block to dampen vibrations that might attempt to make their way up the cable to the microphone. The mics also have small sections of plastic tubing surrounding the cable that help snug the cable into the hanger without causing wear to the cable itself.

Clips for the dual lav and magnetic single lav units are optional. All of the clips come in five different colors.

In addition to not picking up as much ambient noise and reducing the possibility of feedback, the hypercardioid response pattern results in less spill or bleed from other voices when mic-ing multiple talent. Some consideration, though must be made as to where the unwanted sound is coming from. For example, using a B2D with a noisy HVAC duct directly above the talent will probably not provide the best results, as the mic will hear the talent’s voice and anything else it’s pointed at (in this case, airflow and duct noises).

In Use

I found that the Countryman B2D performed as expected. I tried it out in a local eatery and it noticeably reduced the din, including the low frequency hum from nearby refrigerators that my omni lav picked up very well. And while I didn’t get the chance to check, I suspect the BD2 mic may reduce desk bounce noise as well.

With the microphone clipped onto a talent’s tie or centered about two buttons on his or her shirtfront, I found the falloff from head turns to be tolerable to about the 60 degree point. When the speaker’s head was turned beyond that (70 to 90 degrees) there was noticably more level falloff, but in fairness you’d certainly experience some fall off from an omni lav as well. I was surprised on one of my tests, however, where I had the mic mounted at tee-shirt collar height, just under the speaker’s chin. In that particular setup, the B2D’s pickup and sound were very good. Maybe I got lucky.

Summary

If noise is the problem, then with an intelligent application, the Countryman B2D can improve your studio or field audio. It’s built tougher than some other lavs that I’ve used and it’s definitely worth a listen.

Slow-Motion Replay Not Just for Major Productions Anymore

Today’s multi-camera sports productions would be considered lacking without a high-quality instant replay system to help viewers analyze controversial plays during live events. Companies like Abekas and EVS have defined the category, with stellar variable frame rate controllers and server technology. This, of course, is accomplished with high-priced Super SloMo 3X camera systems from Grass Valley and Sony, which capture the action at high frame rates (up to three times real time) and then the scene is slowed down to 30 frames per second to give us sharply focused replays.

As smaller broadcasters and production companies doing regional college and high school sports coverage–with smaller budgets–begin to proliferate, the need has risen for a cost-effective way to produce replay similar in quality and effect to the higher priced systems. To this end, a number of companies have introduced new replay systems that cost a lot less.

“It was inevitable that sports production would move downstream to smaller projects and that these customers would need a more affordable way to produce replays and highlight reels,” said Scott Carroll, Director of Public Relations for NewTek. “Traditional replay and slow-motion systems are expensive, often requiring a six-figure budget just to rent the equipment. And if you’re a school, producer, or local broadcaster, it’s nearly impossible to get in the game.

To be fair, Abekas and EVS do offer a lower-priced server system for smaller productions.

The Abekas Mira Instant Replay system, used by major colleges like the University of Illinois and Ole Miss, is designed to handle the very high bandwidth demands of nonstop recording from multiple cameras, with simultaneous instant replay on one or two output video channels.

Specific features tailored to fast and efficient instant replay operations include: Active Instant Replay into recorded live video streams, which provides quick and simple instant replay without the need to “clip off” anything; and Live Input Camera Switching on the active replay channel, for instant live switching between recorded camera angles during live replay or during clip playback, which streamlines replay operations.

At Ole Miss, freelance operators are contracted to operate an eight-channel Mira Instant Replay server. Dual Mira Control Surface control panels allow the crew to configure the Mira in ISO5 mode. This lets a single operator control five cameras with one output channel, while a second operator employs two channels to create playlists, interstitials and bumpers. This dramatically increases the number of replays shown to fans over the previous system. Mira also delivers a scoring drive summary, quarter and half-time highlight packages and other promotions throughout the game.

One of the key features of Mira that Ole Miss Sports Productions is using extensively is a streamlined workflow that incorporates its existing nonlinear edit systems (NLE). The ability after games to melt all the clips, together with four-channels of audio, into the NLE allows the editor to start producing highlight packages and their weekly TV show far earlier and eliminates the need to search through hours of content to find the big plays.

“As more and more college teams rely on Mira Instant Replay to capture the action on game day, we continue to add functionality to deliver even more value for money,” said Junaid Sheikh, CEO of Abekas. “Our customers tell us we have struck the right balance of sophisticated, feature-rich functionality with unmatched user-friendly operation.”

Both “2X” and “3X” super slow motion cameras are supported. In the 8-channel server version, two 3X cameras with two replay channels with dissolves is possible.

EVS markets XTnano, which is a HD/SD slow motion replay server designed for live sports productions requiring simple workflows. Natively supporting DVCPRO HD and DVCPRO 50 codecs, XTnano is optimized for multiple applications, such as ingest of audio/video (A/V) files, live feed recording, live slow motion and super motion, clipping and playlist playout control.

The EVS XTnano is a HD/SD slow motion replay server designed for live sports productions requiring simple workflows.

The EVS XTnano is a HD/SD slow motion replay server designed for live sports productions requiring simple workflows.

With its proprietary loop recording technology and GigE networking capabilities, A/V files can simultaneously be played and transferred to other EVS servers as well as all standard NLE and archive systems. XTnano can also be configured with four full 3D/1080p video channels (dual link) offering all types of live slow motion replay and highlights editing functions.

NewTek offers a series of 3Play sports production solutions, including the model 425, an entry-level, four-input, two-output professional replay system, priced under $10k and compact enough for television stations, school teams and emerging leagues to produce local games anywhere.

Key features of the 3Play 425 include network-quality replay, slow motion and highlights in native HD and SD, and seamless mixing of live video with assets from media libraries in a compact 2RU design that fits easily in small control rooms and production vehicles of all sizes.

“3Play is designed for anyone producing sports who wants to create beautiful network-style, audience-engaging shows on a cost-conscious budget,” Carroll said.

NewTek offers a series of 3Play sports production solutions

NewTek offers a series of 3Play sports production solutions

Billerica, Mass.-based Broadcast Pix offers its ReVue, HD slow motion replay system that works with any Broadcast Pix integrated production system or independently in other production environments. Developed in collaboration with strategic partner EditShare, ReVue is available in two and four-channel configurations. It features SDI connectivity and up to eight tracks of embedded audio (with optional 1080p recording and playback). The system is housed in a 2 RU chassis and includes 8 TB of RAID 6 storage, which can be expanded up to 16 TB.

ReVue’s compact controller includes a jog/shuttle wheel for reviewing footage, with dedicated buttons for marking in and out points for playback. All video sources are played back in sync, so it is easy to cut between cameras and find the best replay angle. Playback speed is controlled manually with the fader bar, but three preset buttons allow users to assign specific speeds for more consistent slo-mo results. Other intuitive controls allow easy navigation between cameras, clips, and servers.

The ReVue system's two output channels can be configured as preview/program or as two programs.

The ReVue system’s two output channels can be configured as preview/program or as two programs.

“When we decided to introduce a slo-mo replay system, our objective was to deliver a very high quality product at a price that nearly everyone can afford,” said Steve Ellis, Broadcast Pix CEO. “ReVue provides a powerful, multi-source HD replay system that fits the budgets of schools and community channels.”

ReVue’s two output channels can be configured as preview/program or as two programs. With its built-in multi-view, ReVue provides monitors for all active sources, plus preview and program windows. ReVue’s on-screen user interface makes it easy to keep track of marked clips and replays. Plus, Broadcast Pix integrated production systems can trigger ReVue playlists directly from the production switcher.

Tightrope Media Systems now markets a low-cost 2×2 channel version of its ZEPLAY slow-motion instant replay solution for sports production on a tight budget (the company also offers a 4×4 channel version). The new version brings the same rock-solid stability, ease of use and expansive feature set of its 4×4 sibling at a much lower cost of entry–roughly half the price.

“We have found that many customers don’t require the four-in, four-out, eight-angle support that our original ZEPLAY solution offers,” said Steve Israelsky, broadcast solutions lead, Tightrope Media Systems. “A large cross section of our customer base in the local cable market was being underserved in this sector.╩ The 2×2 ZEPLAY gives these and other customers, including small-to-mid sized venues and colleges, an affordable, feature-rich and reliable solution to enhance the sports fan experience. It also gives our 4×4 customers another option if they want to add more angles at a lower price.”

Tightrope Media Systems now markets a low-cost 2x2 channel version of its ZEPLAY slow-motion instant replay solution for sports production on a tight budget.

Tightrope Media Systems now markets a low-cost 2×2 channel version of its ZEPLAY slow-motion instant replay solution for sports production on a tight budget.

Both ZEPLAY units incorporate new features in the ZEPLAY 3.0 release.╩ This includes a new export capability that allows production staff to export entire multi-angle sequences as opposed to individual clips, making it easier to share engaging content (and game-changing moments) immediately in an edited sequence as opposed to a series of individual clips.

ZEPLAY 3.0 also adds a number of operator-oriented refinements to the sequence editor. Individual clip speeds across sequences have always been variable, allowing operators to show play highlights from one angle at full speed; and then show the culmination of the play in slow motion from a different angle.╩ ZEPLAY users can now specify a default rate for the entire sequence, and then modify that speed from the T-Bar as the sequence plays out.╩ ZEPLAY 3.0 also includes an enhanced audio capability to assist in editing the highlight sequences, as well as improvements in the storyboard and editing window layouts

In addition to companies like EVS, with its XT3 server, other companies now offer systems that support UHDTV (3,840 x 2160 resolution) productions as well. A Belgium-based company called I-MOVIX has introduced X10 UHD, a 4K ultra-slow motion system that supports both continuous super slow motion (SSM) and ultra slow motion (USM) at frame rates of up to 1,000 fps.

Combining the core X10 ultra-motion technology with Vision Research’s Phantom Flex4K camera, X10 UHD supports operation in a range of modes to meet differing production requirements, and can be instantly re-configured for new 4K or HD shooting scenarios.

For very high-frame rate ultra-slow motion in 4K sports coverage, the system operates in USM mode to deliver instant replays of up to 1,000fps. For continuous non-stop recording, SSM mode delivers up to 120fps at 4Kp60. When operating in HD resolutions (1080p or 1080i) X10 UHD offers up to 600fps in continuous SSM mode, and up to 2,000fps in USM mode. The system can also complement these specialized applications by performing in a conventional live camera role.

“Versatility, quality and performance are equally important for a leading-edge 4K ultra-motion system,” said Laurent Renard, CEO of I-MOVIX. “Thanks to the very fruitful relationship we have with Vision Research, we are able to offer broadcasters a system that outstrips the competition in every respect, with better ROI because of the many different ways in which it can be used.”

The good news for customers is that high-quality, slow-motion replays are no longer just for six-figure budgets. These new systems allow productions to drastically slash their replay and slow motion equipment costs (in some cases by more than 60%), and the smallest of production teams to enter the field of industry-standard slow motion and instant replay capabilities.

“While traditional vendors continue to build expensive replay systems that mimic what is essentially the way people used with tape, our approach is to architect single, integrated systems capable of handling many of the tasks that would normally require dozens of expensive component products and a sizable production crew,” said Dr. Andrew Cross, chief technology officer for NewTek. “We’ve now made 3Play 425 broadly accessible to smaller venues, teams and schools, so that producers who previously couldn’t even consider network-style replay can get in the game and look just like a major sports broadcaster.”