Vizrt provides new tools for live sports production and analysis at NAB 2014

The new tools enhance remote production and ease of use to improve quality of on-site sports analysis

Vizrt, a leading provider of content production systems for the digital media industry, has updated its sports production packages to enable the growing interest in remote production for fast analysis and enhancements.

At NAB (booth SL2419), Vizrt is releasing a completely new sensorless live sports enhancement solution. The new Viz Arena introduces a powerful image-based camera tracking technology that allows users to apply virtual enhancement effects in soccer, like offside lines, or tied-to-field replay graphic effects. Viz Arena’s live and replay graphics capabilities nicely complements Viz Libero, Vizrt’s flagship sports analysis system. A major new version of Viz Libero is targeting broadcaster’s World Cup needs by including live player tracking and statistics data integration. In addition, Vizrt is launching Harvester, which allows remote sites to collect and process all needed content at the location. Harvester will help broadcasters work remotely, ensuring higher on-site production values, while also providing the ability to deliver stronger analysis or highlights of key events in the studio.

“The new Viz Arena is a major shift in replay technology that can now include clear and concise graphical elements on the field helping our clients to tell the story,” said Stephan Würmlin Stadler, EVP Sports at Vizrt. “Harvester and the new versions of Viz Libero and Viz Arena, work with any technical infrastructure you may already have, allowing users to be more creative, to set up and deliver faster, and to work remotely when needed.”

Enhanced analysis - Viz Libero

The new version of Viz Libero, Vizrt’s sports analysis system that can break-down the action from multiple angles, will debut at NAB making it mobile and better integrated in studio environments. The new lightweight version can even run on a laptop allowing the analyst or producer traveling to a venue to create analysis of interesting action while on the move. Viz Libero can also be used in conjunction with Harvester to build conclusive virtual camera perspectives, such as creating a referee’s view or judging offside decisions from the multi-angle feeds delivered by Harvester from the venue to the studio.

The World Cup version of Viz Libero features a plugin interface to integrate with data providers such as Deltatre or STATS. Powered by Deltatre’s Magma Pro, Viz Libero integrates live player tracking and statistical data in real time, making clip processing faster and analysis more insightful. The interactive World Cup solution will be on display at NAB.

Live virtual graphics insertion - Viz Arena

Viz Arena, a system that inserts virtual graphics into the live video signal - including telestration graphics, logos and scores on the pitch or advertising messages - will also be premiered at NAB. Rather than relying on camera sensors, the new Viz Arena uses sophisticated image analysis to determine position and orientation of the camera. The same high degree of precision is achieved, but now the graphics can be applied to almost any camera. Instead of many hours of set up time to link the calibrated camera to the graphics system, the new Viz Arena requires only 10 to 20 minutes to set up. Integrated with video servers, the same replay operator can tie graphics, such as highlighting a particular player, to any replay in a couple of seconds using for example a touchscreen.

New remote content production - Harvester

To maximize the benefits of available bandwidth when several feeds must be transported from the venue to the production base, the new Harvester platform allows feeds to be selected from the studio, without the need for an operator to make the selection at the venue. Harvester is operated from a simple user interface, such as a touchscreen or tablet device, and ensures that all the best content is retrieved. That puts it quickly in the production center ready for re-editing, interactive multi-angle highlights, and for the rapid creation of analysis packages with Viz Libero.

Harvester uses a compact, rack-mounted box in the outside broadcast truck, connected to the replay server. A touchdown or goal could trigger the transfer of multiple clips around the key piece of action, allowing studio highlights or analysis from different angles.

“Sports producers need to transform the way they work so they’re able to get more value out of their coverage, serve new and different audiences, plus become smarter and more efficient with their workflows,” added Petter Ole Jakobsen, CTO of Vizrt. “We’ve listened to their views and developed a suite of products that delivers against those requirements.”

About Vizrt

Vizrt provides real-time 3D graphics, studio automation, sports analysis and asset management tools for the media and entertainment industry. This includes interactive and virtual solutions, animations, maps, weather, video editing, compositing, and playout tools. Vizrt has customers in more than 100 countries worldwide including CNN, CBS, Fox, BBC, BSkyB, Al Jazeera, NDR, ITN, ZDF, Star TV, Network 18, TV Today, CCTV, NHK and the list keeps growing. Vizrt has nearly 600 employees and operates in 40 offices worldwide. Vizrt is a privately owned company by Nordic Capital Fund VIII.

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