Tightrope Media Systems’ Zeplay instant replay system is being deployed to support a number of sports events on both sides of the Atlantic, writes Adrian Pennington. Time Warner Cable will install ten of the systems to simplify live sports production for a series of regional sports in the US, while the US Professional Bull Riders organisation has added the system to enhance the live production of more than 300 annual events. Time Warner Cable is upgrading mobile production trucks to HD with Zeplay’s four in, four out slow motion replay machine and other HD production systems in markets including LA and Milwaukee. The company will use the system for replay of regional high school, college and some professional sports. “We were seeking a product competitive to top instant replay systems but more open and cost-efficient,” said Peter Buxton, senior remote broadcast engineer, Time Warner Cable. “Zeplay is competitively priced, reliably handles multi-angle replay, allows more collaboration with our Final Cut Pro editing systems and offers a far easier learning curve for new operators. We fully intend to transition other trucks to Zeplay moving forward.” Tom White, director of operations for New York State where Zeplay is already in use for TWC added: “Instead of rolling out one look we can offer multiple looks by continuously recording four channels. Previously, two of our three locations couldn’t utilise all of these various production elements because they lacked any type of server. The Zeplay gives them the necessary elements and replay looks right at their fingertips.” Bullriding action The Professional Bull Riders (PBR) organisation has relationships with CBS Sports Network, NBC Sports Network and YouTube for its weekly Built Ford Tough Series. Two mobile trucks accommodate live show production and broadcast links on location at each event. Danial Semar, live events video director for the PBR said: “Zeplay raises our quality level by taking us from simple ‘slo-mo’ regurgitation of the programme feed to giving us multiple instant replay choices. Within seconds we can spit out the angle of our choosing in very high quality and go live as we dictate.” Meta tagging options allow the team to label clips by rider, date and other details — and quickly pull content from the archives for instant replay on request. “There is no time to slow down — we have eight seconds to capture feeds, turn them around and make entertainment,” said Semar. “If we need to pull something from the archives I don’t have to dig through many hours of video files to find a specific clip. Zeplay gives us the live visual feedback, archival recall, and time we need to evaluate angles and make quick decisions for the in-house mix.” New features for Zeplay targeted at the fast-paced sports and live production environments will be announced at BroadcastAsia in Singapore (19-22 June). These include the introduction of a new 12-drive RAID configuration to support MPEG-2 I-frame only encoding at 180Mbps per stream, along with Apple ProRes 4:2:2 encoding and decoding at 220Mbps per stream. In addition Tightrope has also added import and export of Avid DNxHD. TMS says it has a number of European orders pending and has already seen Zeeplay adopted at Romanian production company Studio Video Art to provide action replay sports, whose Executive Manager Bogdan Alexe said: “As an independent company we work with freelance directors and replay operators who want an easy to use system that is very intuitive. The Zeplay does this while providing a powerful engine that allows operators to cue and go, without rendering or sequence building to ensure quick and easy turnaround of sports production on the fly.” www.trms.com
Tightrope Media Systems’ Zeplay instant replay system is being deployed to support a number of sports events on both sides of the Atlantic, writes Adrian Pennington. Time Warner Cable will install ten of the systems to simplify live sports production for a series of regional sports in the US.