The Big South Conference is providing a new, fully integrated switcher-replay-graphics workflow to its 10 member universities to produce TV-ready content that meets the requirements for ESPN3 broadcasts and beyond. The new workflow is based on NewTek’s flagship TriCaster® 8000 multi-camera video production system equipped with TriCaster Advanced Edition software, NewTek’s 3Play™ 440 sports production system for instant replay and slow motion, and state-of-the–art real-time 3D graphics with Vizrt’s Viz Trio. With NDI-enabled TriCaster Advanced Edition software, Big South Conference schools will be on the cutting edge of IP-based workflows with potential storytelling capabilities normally only seen in very large sports networks.
Key to the Big South’s goal of getting self-produced content on ESPN3 is TV-ready graphics. With Viz Trio, Big South Conference sports productions will be using the same graphics technology implemented by ESPN’s flagship station. NewTek and Vizrt have been collaborating since 2015 ensuring that Vizrt’s graphics engines integrate seamlessly with TriCaster via a network input. The resulting integration potentially reduces dedicated personnel for graphics operation and also frees up a hardware input on TriCaster that can be used for extra camera sources. The workflow negates the need for specialized SDI hardware while delivering pristine quality graphics viewers come to expect from sports broadcasts on television.
“We’re very content with the model we’ve chosen and our ability to generate continuous improvement across the board in all Big South Network productions. NewTek has been the key to our evolution because they have been relentless in upgrading the functionality within TriCaster and we’ve grown right along with them,” said Kyle Kallander, commissioner of the Big South Conference. “We believe in strength in numbers, working to everyone’s collective advantage. These upgrades benefit all our members and they have come to expect it. We will also be able to brand content differently for ESPN3, BSN and others that will take content from us that will serve us very well in the future.”
Being TV-ready for the fall season isn’t the only reason the Big South Conference is excited about the future.
“Given the new capabilities of NDI, we envision a point where we’re doing live ‘look-ins’ from one game to another, and having centralized studios on campuses,” added Mark Bryant, director of multimedia development for the Big South Network. “We don’t have a limitless budget but we’re very intrigued with how to expand what we do based on our new ability to take in other sources from other places in each phase of production. Where we might go is really exciting and the possibilities are astounding. One step at a time.”
Read the story at Sports Video Group: Big South Set for Summer of Upgrades as Conference Digital Network Preps To Enter 12th Season
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