Now you can create live content without camera operators
Presented by Davis Edwards of VISLINK, Martijn van Erven of Mobile Viewpoint, and Jim Jachetta of VidOvation
Discover exactly how to:
- Broadcast news or sports segments from home or remote locations. Give the talent what they need to get the best feed back to you.
- Do a multi-camera shoot for a show when there’s no budget for camera operators.
- Shoot a live sporting event without any camera operators.
Now you can create live content without camera operators
The TrolleyLive Pro all-In-one Broadcast PTZ camera, streaming encoder, and return video monitor system facilitates talent broadcasting live from home or remote locations.
The IQ Sports Producer facilitates the creation of a live professional sports production without an on-site camera team. IQ-Sports Producer (IQ-SP) is a leading AI system that automates a televised professional sports production but without the need of a camera team or director. Ideal for sports games that don’t have the capital and production resources of the major sports leagues.
The IQ vPilot AI-Driven Automated Studio is an automated studio system utilizing the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI). It is a studio set-up that does not require camera people or an onsite director but is designed to create visually compelling content. Ideal for lower-cost studio productions.
David Edwards (00:01):
So this is a presentation by Vislink and Mobile Viewpoint about artificial intelligence use in sports production solutions. And I’m hoping that we’ll show you some interesting products and interesting ways of doing new things that perhaps enable us to do more than could be done before by using tools and making things more efficient.
David Edwards (00:31):
So just to do some introductions. I’m David Edwards, I’m product manager at Vislink and Mobile Viewpoint. And Martjin.
Martijn van Erven (00:43):
Yes, my name is Martjin I’m based in Netherland in the headquarters of Mobile Viewpoint. And I’m working as a sales manager within the company.
Jim Jachetta (00:52):
I’m Jim Jachetta, a CT and co-founder of VidOvation. And I’m very glad to have Martijn and David as a very special guest on our Wednesday webinar. And we’re very excited to share with you folks about the new technology around camera, artificial intelligence, eliminating the need for camera operators, which is an exciting prospect. So take it away, guys.
David Edwards (01:21):
That’s great. And because we’re talking a lot about video of today, we’ll be showing you quite a lot of videos. I think we’ll be doing that in two different ways. I’ll ask Jim to run some videos later, but also we’ll embed some videos within the slides we’re going to show you.
David Edwards (01:37):
It’s worth saying that when we’re embedding the slides, because of the way that GoToWebinar works, you might find some of those slides might be a bit low frame, bit jerky. That’s no reflection on what we’re talking about today. That’s just a property of the tool. So bear with us for that.
David Edwards (01:57):
Talking of video and sports, we’re going to talk a lot about what makes an engaging sports production and what you can do with tier one sports major sporting events. Obviously, we’ve just had the Super Bowl and other events are coming up. Martijn, what’s your favorite sport that you like to watch on TV?
Martijn van Erven (02:20):
I like to watch soccer, and not only the soccer in the Netherlands, but also in the UK for example, or Spain or Italy.
David Edwards (02:29):
So for me, it’s rugby and I quite like the flow of rugby. And in some ways also the certain amount of brutality that there is with it. But for me, I just want to show you some of that content. So this happens to be a tier one rugby game that I was watching the other day. And when I watched that live content, what the expert producers give you there, there’s a multi camera shoot.
David Edwards (03:03):
It shows the low of the game. It gives you different camera views and all of those sorts of things that you would expect from a tier one production. And of course that’s high level production, that high level multi camera production really tells you the story of that event and delivers the pace of that event. But there’s more to a tier one production as well of course.
David Edwards (03:27):
There’s the halftime analysis, the pundits, the experts giving their view and the discussion. And that’s what sort of draws the fans in and creates a sense of engagement with what is going on on the sports field. And of course, that analysis piece of programming is fully produced and multiple cameras. The director reacts to what is being discussed.
David Edwards (03:54):
And so that’s an engaging piece of sports production as well, but we know that people engage in sports differently these days. There’s a lot going on online. And so the content owners, they push a lot of that content out on Twitter and other platforms. And so much of that content these days includes video. In fact, we know that from a recent survey, it’s become clear that a 30% increase in video on social media increases engagement by over 100%.
David Edwards (04:29):
And that’s, of course, in many ways is why you are seeing video as part of that content. And many people now follow sporting events, not live on TV, but also on social media platforms. And what is shown by the content owners on social media then gets reflected by how the fans interact with that. And the fans do their own posts and the discussion continues.
David Edwards (04:57):
And you then get an involvement and engagement as a fan long beyond the period when the sporting action was taking place live. And of course, that creates that sense of engagement, that sense of belonging, that sporting affiliation you may get with your favorite team.
David Edwards (05:17):
So that’s perfect for tier one and tier one productions continue to experiment and do new things, but the question is, what can you do beyond tier one? So tier two, tier three sporting events may be going out live on, TV platforms on linear platforms and may be going out live on demand platforms on OTT services. But clearly for those events that are below tier one, you can’t always dedicate the same amount of production resources to that.
David Edwards (05:48):
So the question then comes, what can you do to get that same sense of engagements that you get with tier one programming? Perhaps are there new ways to get greater viewership of those online platforms? And how do you create that sense of engagement that you may have with viewers on sub tier one programming?
David Edwards (06:11):
And this is really what we want to talk to you about today, because we think with the use of AI production tools, you can now do more for this and perhaps deliver more to your users and gain a greater viewership with those sub tier one events. So I’m going to introduce you to some production tools today. And the first one is IQ-Sports Producer. So Jim, if you can run BT please on slide number nine.
Jim Jachetta (06:45):
Sure, standby. I have to take back control and here we go.
David Edwards (07:02):
Televised sports production has been the same for a long time, but now it’s changing. Meet IQ-Sports Producer from IQ Video Solutions. With the power of artificial intelligence, professional productions can now be created without an onsite camera crew and thus at a fraction of the cost. The AI has a high level of automation.
It tracks both the ball and the players. It overlays the scoreboard and graphics, and it creates highlights and replays. High quality, easy and afford sports production has never been so easy. Tap into new possibilities with IQ-Sports Producer from IQ Video Solutions.
David Edwards (08:03):
Fabulous. Thank you, Jim. So hope now we are… Jim, give me the…
Jim Jachetta (08:11):
Yap, you’ve got control.
David Edwards (08:13):
Fabulous. So we introduced a product there called IQ-Sports Producer. And actually, I want to show you some examples of that with a second video. So we just skipped to this video and if you can run the video for this video and it’ll introduce sort of a little bit more about how the technology works and what it can achieve.
Jim Jachetta (08:41):
Okay. So video number 10, standby. Here we go.
IQ-Sports Producer from Mobile Viewpoint uses high quality 4k cameras to give superior image quality. Advanced AI technology detects a player and ball action. The AI engine can track the action, even if the area of play is momentarily obscured.
The video image is processed deliver direct engaging production with smooth pans and zooms, just like a professional cam operator. Audiences are brought to the heart of the action through sound from a high quality microphone array positioned near the action.
David Edwards (09:32):
Fabulous. So when you’re ready, you can give us back control.
Jim Jachetta (09:39):
There you go, David.
David Edwards (09:41):
Thank you. And Martijn, if you can talk us through this video, which might be a bit jumpy for our viewers, about this sort of explains how we are processing the video and doing that production. Martijn [inaudible 00:09:56]
Martijn van Erven (09:56):
Yeah, sure. We use multiple 4k center cameras. They’re all provided and delivered in one box. That’s installed at the center line of the football field or ice stadium. And we can cover the complete pitch and we can create a 180 degree overview of the pitch with this camera. And thanks to our AI algorithm, as you can see in the video, we can automatically track the players and the ball and create an image that looks like there’s a real camera man next to the field.
Martijn van Erven (10:29):
So you can see the four images, which creates the Panorama picture, which stitch them together. And thanks to our AI algorithm, you can see the red square, that’s the part where we track the players and the ball. In the right bottom corner, you can see how the video will look like on TV or social media. That’s the final result that we can create with the IQ-Sports Producer system.
David Edwards (10:55):
So we’re doing everything that’s a human cameraman has the capability to do that. We have the ability to zoom and pan and follow the action. And in terms of following the action, Martijn, we really can, because it’s not just a ball that we track, it’s the players as well and the referees, isn’t it?
Martijn van Erven (11:18):
Yeah, there are a lot of rules within our AI algorithm. For example, the size of the field. So we know exactly how big a field is. This can be a soccer field, an ice hockey field, a field hockey field, a floorball. We can do a lot of sports. And within this area we can track the players, the referee but also the ball.
Martijn van Erven (11:40):
We can recognize specific parts in the field for example, the penalty area, the goal area but also the center area and the center line. And we use all this to create a final video image that looks like it’s been created by a real camera man.
David Edwards (12:00):
Excellent. And talking of the image, the quality of the cameras that we use makes a difference as well, doesn’t it Martijn? Because some systems use something similar to a webcam, but we’ve gone for systems that really do give high resolution, high quality video, haven’t we Martijn?
Martijn van Erven (12:21):
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, Mobile Viewpoint originally creates equipment for real broadcasting companies. So we also want to use this technology in our IQ-Sports Producer. And as you can see on the picture in this slide, you can use low quality lenses, but we use high quality lenses to create a very high quality video picture that can really be used for TV.
Martijn van Erven (12:49):
So we have a system that can stream in 25 and 30 frames, but also high quality setup that can create a video image in 50 or 60 frames. And we even have zoom capabilities. So we can really zoom in on the ball or the players to still create the high quality video image and production.
David Edwards (13:10):
So ball cast quality lenses and ball cast frame mates as well. And in terms of cameras, I think we can introduce you to a new camera system that we’ve just released. So Jim, I think we are on slide 13. If you can play the video for slide 13, please.
Jim Jachetta (13:31):
Standby. 13, here we come. I’m the producer today.
With Mobile Viewpoint IQ-Sports Producer create live professional sports productions without an onsite camera team. Now with an outstanding level of quality you haven’t seen before. The new Mobile Viewpoint Stellar Camera is designed for artificial intelligence powered live sports production, and is a new addition to our range of cameras, fulfilling the need for automatic coverage of demanding sports in high quality.
In combination with our PTZ camera and the power of artificial intelligence, our AI system can be deployed for a fraction of the cost of a full production crew allowing you to economically bring new events to viewers or free up resources to capture new and exciting content. As a significant step up from off the shelf surveillance cameras, Mobile Viewpoint is launching a camera with full broadcast frame rate and adjustable lenses.
It’s a panoramic broadcast camera with fantastic image quality and full 50 or 60 frame per second support. The Mobile Viewpoint Stellar Cam is now a key component of IQ-Sports Producer, the platform of choice for automatically capturing live sporting events.
David Edwards (15:06):
Fabulous. Thank you, Jim. And then having talked about the quality of the cameras that we have within the system and full frame base and the ability to zoom, it’s also important to say this if we are replicating what you can achieve with a multi camera using tier one, then we can deploy multi camera solutions.
David Edwards (15:46):
So it’s not just a center camera that pans and zooms, but we also have the ability to put multiple cameras maybe it’s other areas. So here are soccer pitch picture as an example. Martijn, talk us through that.
Martijn van Erven (16:00):
Yeah, there we have the center camera, as I just explained, which is installed in the center of the field to cover the complete pitch and then 180 degree overview. And thanks to the AI algorithm, we can zoom in on the players and the ball. But we can also add extra cameras close to the sideline, for example, close to the goal, which can be the small red boxes you see here next to the center camera.
Martijn van Erven (16:22):
And they can be located in a different area next to the field. And if we detect the ball within this area close to this camera, we can automatically switch to these cameras. So you can really create a fully automated multi camera production without having people on site.
David Edwards (16:41):
Okay. And in terms of the sports that we support, it’s obviously not just soccer, but there’s a long list and actually list goes beyond that, doesn’t it Martijn? Talk us through some of the sports that we can produce?
Martijn van Erven (16:57):
Yeah, it all started with soccer because that’s one of the most popular sports in the Netherlands. So that’s very easy to use for training purposes of your AI algorithm, but once that was working fine we got a lot of requests from other sports departments, sport clubs all over the world. For example, rugby, field hockey, basketball floorball which is very popular in Scandinavia, but also ice hockey.
Martijn van Erven (17:24):
And in all of these sports, they work with a ball or a buck, which you can track, but we can also track objects like a horse or a bicycle in a telegram for example. And for each of those different sports, we use a different AI algorithm because each of those sports have the different fields of play but also different objects.
Martijn van Erven (17:44):
So one is using a big ball. One is using a small ball or a buck and each of the sports have different rules which we all implemented in this AI algorithm, which we have developed within our company.
David Edwards (18:01):
Fabulous. And obviously we’ve talked about the AI driven cameras and the AI production in there, but we also say that with tier two tier three games, there may be a cameraman who is capturing that content as a game already.
David Edwards (18:18):
And we wouldn’t go as far as to say that the system would remove the need for human camera people, camera operators, but actually by using the AI cameras and the AI engine to produce some of the sporting action, it then frees up that camera operator to produce, to capture extra content. And so for example, you may now choose to move that camera operator down to the sideline.
David Edwards (18:43):
Perhaps you can capture video of the coach, perhaps they can do halftime or full time interviews. All of those sorts of things become possible. So you can also bring in human captured content as well to create a more rich production.
David Edwards (19:03):
Now, having captured that content, then there’s also the thought about how you engage with your fans during and after the event on social media. So Martijn, we have the ability to export video content to social media platforms as well, don’t we?
Martijn van Erven (19:20):
Yeah, we have our own web-based management platform. It’s called LinkMatrix, and it can be used for our mobile encoders, but also for the IQ-Sports Producer. And basically everything you stream with IQ-Sports Producer will be stored on the server and you have access to this content via LinkMatrix. So you can download the complete soccer game or ice hockey game, but you can also select small parts of it and download them and publish them immediately on social media.
Martijn van Erven (19:52):
This can be used very well for fan engagement, for example, because fans are always interested. As soon as there has been scored a goal, they want to see the replay. And if you can post it immediately on Twitter or Facebook, it’s very good for the views on your web page.
David Edwards (20:09):
Exactly. So we talked a lot there about producing content automatically at the side of the sporting event, but what about those in studio discussions? And so Mobile Viewpoint, we have a second AI driven tool for studio production as well. And this is our VPilot system. So Jim, if we can run the video for item 19, please.
Jim Jachetta (20:39):
Sure standby. 15, here it comes.
Imagine a broadcast studio that does not require a production crew to create a professional production. Through the power of artificial intelligence, this is now a reality. Meet VPilot by Mobile Viewpoint. With VPilot, you can create a professional production that is easy, fast, and affordable. Engaging with your audience through broadcasting has never been so effortless.
VPilot offers a fully automated multi-camera studio with artificial intelligence controlling the cameras and the shot selection. You don’t need any behind the scenes crew. With the studio management tool, you can easily set up preferences for the virtual director, such as shot types and lengths. The VPanel gives the talent flexibility at their fingertips, allowing them to add graphics, inserts, or cut to an external camera when they see fit.
Live streaming and online publication is fast and easy. You can stream to any video platform you want. So, start broadcasting with the power of AI with VPilot by Mobile Viewpoint.
David Edwards (22:13):
Fabulous. Thanks Jim
Jim Jachetta (22:21):
David Edwards (22:23):
Okay. And so having introduced that tool to you, Martijn, if you can take us through some of the capabilities that that system has in terms of the multiple cameras and the AI engine choosing the shots.
Martijn van Erven (22:41):
Yeah. So VPilot contains several PT set cameras, as you can see here in the slide. But next to these PT set cameras, we use 3D sensor and the 3D sensors create a 3D overview of the room, so they can really detect people within the studio. And as a director, you have specific rules whenever you need to switch to a different shot, how does the shot needs to look like?
Martijn van Erven (23:05):
You can give all this information into our server, and based on our AI algorithm, we can create the right shot based on the preferences of the director and the cameraman, and do basically everything automatically. So once you have the system, you can start to configure it, create a right shot based on your own location in the studio.
Martijn van Erven (23:33):
Fill in the length of the shot, the frequency of the shot, the minimum length, the maximum length. Based on this information, the system will create it’s own production.
David Edwards (23:44):
That’s right. And so for sports type productions, you can then, as I showed you in that tier one clip right at the start of this presentation, you can then have the AI director to follow those discussions and to produce some engaging content with the appropriate amount of pace to that production and camera switching that suits the event.
David Edwards (24:08):
And even if those presenters choose to move during production, then the AI technology has the ability to follow the presenters, doesn’t it matter Martijn?
Martijn van Erven (24:19):
Yeah. The good thing about this system is that it’ll enable people that don’t have any experience with multi camera productions to do a multi camera production. So you can see in the picture in this slide is made in a football stadium in the Netherlands. These guys are usually creating Instagram posts, Facebook posts but they were also interested in doing a post and a pre-match show, so just before the match.
Martijn van Erven (24:45):
And thanks to the VPilot, they are now able to do a multi to camera production without having any directors or cameramen on site. And the system is configured only once, created the right shot. And they step in 10 minutes before the show starts and they can do a live production. And if the guest is small or sits more to the left or to the right, the system will detect it and create the right shot based on the settings.
David Edwards (25:12):
Exactly, thank you. And so we’ve talked there about some studio production solutions, but Mobile Viewpoint, we also have the ability for more portable automated camera solutions as well. And here we’re showing a picture of our TrolleyLive product, which was used recently at the Olympics, and the summer games and the winter games.
David Edwards (25:37):
And that has the ability to provide a personal interview solution, which may be great for capturing video content from the players, maybe as they come off the pitch and you want them interviews. And obviously we know that you may be playing in the away game, so you can take this solution with you to an away game. So Jim, for this slide number 24, if you can play the video for this one.
Jim Jachetta (26:04):
Sure. Standby. Here we go.
David Edwards (27:48):
Thank you, Jim.
Jim Jachetta (27:48):
There you go.
David Edwards (27:51):
Okay. So that showed the TrolleyLive product as a portable solution and as a solution that can be controlled centrally. It doesn’t necessarily require that the user, the person being interviewed to have any technical skill because the central control person using the LinkMatrix control system can point the camera and fully configure the product.
David Edwards (28:15):
So Martijn, perhaps talk us through how this was used at the Olympics and also how you can get connectivity out of the unit and into your production.
Martijn van Erven (28:26):
Yeah, the TrolleyLive, it’s an all in one solution. So as you can see on the picture here on the right side, it’s a box with a PTZ camera, a touch screen for video return and to manage the system in the field, but also an encoder with modems, an audio device for audio to speak actually with the studio or the presenter in the studio.
Martijn van Erven (28:48):
And we used it recently in Beijing during the Olympics, but also in Tokyo during the Olympics. And it was a very nice use case because they were located in the athlete village and there was no cameramen and journalists allowed in the athletes village. So these TrolleyLive systems were set up two weeks before the Olympic games started. Everything was enabled, SIM card were enabled. They were connected to the management system.
Martijn van Erven (29:17):
So once the Olympic games started, the athletes could stand in front of the camera and people in Europe, they could remotely control the camera, create the right shot by using the pen stilt and zoom functionalities and send back video and audio to the journalist. And they could really have a two way interview communication between Beijing and a studio in Europe.
David Edwards (29:45):
Say it exactly. And so with all of those tools together, what we’re suggesting here is that although tier two or tier three program today that may be going out live on the certain platform, that exists today, but perhaps you can’t afford to give such a rich production as you can on a tier one production.
David Edwards (30:08):
But by deploying all of those tools we’ve talked about, the TrolleyLive, the VPilot, the IQ-Sports Producer, and the ability to create a multi camera shoot largely for the automated, may be bringing in your own camera operator content down from the pitch, and being able to export content onto social media platforms.
David Edwards (30:33):
You really can recreate to a very large extent exactly the same values that you get out of a tier one production. So to give you some flavor of exactly what can be achieved when you bring all of those tools together, I’m going to play some of the videos for you. So again, apologies if this bit jumpy because of the the GoToWebinar properties, but this is content that has been produced live through IQ-Sports Producer following the action, and not just following the ball, but following the players.
David Edwards (31:11):
And so being able to create the best camera shot from that live so you can produce engaging accurate live sporting events that have pace to them through IQ-Sports Producer. And in terms of using that content and doing action replays, Martijn, talk us through the ability of LinkMatrix to manage highlights and scores and scoreboards through the LinkMatrix platform.
Martijn van Erven (31:46):
Yeah. IQ-Sports Producer is very advanced solution with a lot of features next to just tracking the game and the players. So we can also create replays automatically. So in this system, you can basically watch the game live. And as soon as we score a goal or maybe there’s an injury or something else is happening, you can create automatically an highlight.
Martijn van Erven (32:14):
So on the left side, you can see the highlight. So you can set a point within the timeline of the game, and you can have five seconds before the activity, 10 seconds. And based on this information, you can create your own highlight and replay.
David Edwards (32:34):
And in terms of keeping track of the score and the time we have some automated tools as well, don’t we Martijn?
Martijn van Erven (32:42):
Yeah, what you see here on the right side, that’s the manual version. So you can also do it manually, so you can change the score anytime by just pressing the buttons. But if we can see the scoreboard in the venue with our camera at the center line, we can also use the OCR functionality, and OCR means optical character recognition.
Martijn van Erven (33:04):
And that means that you can copy the information from the scoreboard and set it as an overlay over the video like you see here very small in the center video, in the left top corner. So you can copy the score and the time from the scoreboard in the field and publish it in an overlay over the video completely automated,
David Edwards (33:24):
Which of course is part of the score, and the time are very much part of the the drama of the game, isn’t it?
Martijn van Erven (33:31):
David Edwards (33:35):
So here we are now talking about VPilot, the automated studio solution. So here we’re showing some of that produced content and the ability to switch the camera view depending on who is speaking. And so you are producing a live piece of content with many of the properties that a human director would give to that event. Lastly, I want to talk about bringing in the TrolleyLive product. So Martijn, talk us through some of this content.
Martijn van Erven (34:11):
Yeah, we just explained a little bit about the functionality of TrolleyLive. And this is actually live footage from the athlete village from Beijing, the most recent Olympic Games we did. And this TrolleyLive was located in the Polish athletes village. And this is one of the athletes from Poland.
Martijn van Erven (34:33):
And she’s doing a live interview between Beijing and a [inaudible 00:34:38] in Poland without having the journalist or cameraman in the athletes village. This is completely automated and managed remotely.
David Edwards (34:49):
And in producing your content, obviously you need a delivery platform for your viewers, and it might be YouTube or Facebook live, which we are also using today. But that has some great benefits in terms of reach, but also has issues in terms of how a content owner may choose to monetize their sporting content. So Martijn, we have a different option as well, don’t we?
Martijn van Erven (35:17):
Yeah, one of the options is indeed Facebook or YouTube. The downside of these platforms is that you can’t add your own advertisements to these games. So you cannot make any money on the games. But we have developed our own platform, which is called Your Team Stream. It’s basically an OTT platform. We can stream the video footage from IQ-Sports Producer directly to Your Team Stream platform.
Martijn van Erven (35:44):
And as a viewer, as a fan, I can pay for a game or I can pay for a complete month or season. So I can watch all the games. And as a club, I can make a little bit of money on each of the plaid games. I can add my own advertisements to the games, to the platform, but I can also ask sponsors to sponsor a complete game that the fans can watch it for free. But then anyway, I can make some money on the plaid games.
David Edwards (36:12):
So we think all options in terms of how you might deliver your content to your viewers there they’re available, whether it’s classic linear TV, whether it’s the big social media organizations, whether it’s your own portal or of course moving your content to OTT platforms that you may have also done deals with. That’s all available. And then-
Martijn van Erven (36:37):
Yeah, and [inaudible 00:36:39]. So sorry David, very important is that we don’t own the content. So the content will be owned by the clubs itself. We just provide a platform where they can publish the content. So we don’t own the content.
Jim Jachetta (36:55):
That’s a good question. Because there are service providers that will do this for you, but then they own the content.
Martijn van Erven (37:02):
Yeah. No, we don’t take any revenue of the content. Obviously, the platform needs to be paid for, but it just cost for streaming, but we don’t take any revenue or content rights.
David Edwards (37:16):
Exactly. And so we talked about how LinkMatrix is the control system, has the ability to export that content onto the social media platforms, maybe it’s Twitter or Instagram. And so you can engage with your fans that way during and after the event, which we said of course, particularly for younger viewers is a key way of engaging with the fan base.
David Edwards (37:44):
So all in all, I think really what we’ve talked about today is how you can engage with viewers in a similar way to tier one, but not with the large teams of people that you may choose to deploy to an onsite to tier one game. In terms of the ability to produce such rich content, we think with both VPilot IQ-Sports Producer, TrolleyLive, all of those, that experience can be produced with some efficient AI production tools.
David Edwards (38:18):
And what that means, maybe for people who own that content or want to move their content and get that to the viewers, perhaps if they’re producing that content already, now you can deliver a much richer experience, which perhaps will engage more viewers, enable you to get more revenue from that increased viewer share.
David Edwards (38:37):
It will enable your viewers to engage more deeply and perhaps you can then monetize that in other ways, perhaps in social media. Or if you have rights to content that perhaps you can’t use because with a full human operation, perhaps that’s not really cost effective. But perhaps by deploying these AI tools, now the economy has changed and you can actually bring that content to viewers and monetize that, whereas previously before it just wasn’t financially viable.
David Edwards (39:07):
So it’s the ability to gain new viewers and engage more deeply with the existing productions and also gain additional revenue from launching new services that perhaps weren’t financially viable before. I think with this AI systems, we think those two potentials really become a possibility. So I think now we open things up to questions, Jim. Martijn and I can do our best to whatever the attendees want to throw at us.
Jim Jachetta (39:42):
Well, we’ll let people collect their thoughts, ask some questions. I have a couple of comments, couple of questions. In the US, some of our customers have… You talked about doing tier two tier three events like it’s a tier one. In the US, you have rights holders. So it might be a tier one event, but then there’s the primary rights holders.
Jim Jachetta (40:08):
And then there’s secondary holders. So I’ll give you an example. Golf tournament, maybe NBC or Fox is the primary rights holder. They cover most of the tournament and then someone like Turner Sports might come in as a secondary rights holder. They can’t cover the actual event, but they can cover warmups, interviews before and after the tournament and super fans want that content.
Jim Jachetta (40:36):
They want to meet the players, they want to meet the golfers. They want to hear that banter between the players, trash talking each other before they actually play. And some of that doesn’t go live. The primary rights holder is not catching that. So like a Turner Sports would use this secondary content for social media or for their website or maybe to go on air on a Turner channel instead of an NBC or a Fox.
Jim Jachetta (41:07):
And as you said earlier, they don’t have the production dollars to put behind that because they don’t have… They have secondary sponsors, they don’t have the primary sponsors. So I see that as another application. Do you find that in Europe, guys? Is that the case sometimes in Europe?
David Edwards (41:26):
Yes, I think you’re completely right. We certainly see a lot of the sports news channels if you like producing content around the major event. And that’s where I think technology such as the VPilot studio production system can come in because you can then give that warmup and post match analysis production with a really rich production that perhaps you couldn’t have afforded to do before. Do you think, Martin? [inaudible 00:41:57]
Martijn van Erven (41:58):
Yeah, exactly. We have, as we just showed also in the presentation that we have different solutions to cover the complete day of the sport event. So we can cover the game itself which you can forward to a specific platform. But also the interviews before the match or after the match, in half time we can make interviews, which you can forward to another platform. That’s all possible.
David Edwards (42:23):
Yes, and things like team arrivals as well. The team getting off their coach and coming into the sporting arena, you can do that with a bonded mobile solutions and have a cameraman roam that entry. That’s all possible. So I think that’s possible. And I’m also thinking Jim, that you’ve talked about those major events, some events there’s a primary game going on at the moment. I’m sort of thinking, I don’t know, I’m imagining a sort of tennis.
Jim Jachetta (42:56):
Yeah, tennis. Exactly, right.
David Edwards (42:59):
A major court and some of the minor courts that perhaps other people have rights to. Maybe it won’t be tennis, but there are other similar events where multiple games are happening at the same time, and you can put out some of these additional games on an OTT platform whereas maybe the major game is going out on a classic linear TV channel.
Jim Jachetta (43:25):
Right. I think a common question that may come up, Martijn, with the IQ-Sports Producer, you and I had talked about this prior. You do have quite a lengthy list of sports you cover now, but we’re introducing this product to the US market. VidOvation is positioned to lead that push introducing this to the US market.
Jim Jachetta (43:54):
We’re members of Sports Video Group. So there’s been a lot of buzz about this product. Learning American football, not to be confused with soccer football, European football, you’re working on teaching the AI other sports. Maybe speak to that a little bit Martijn.
Martijn van Erven (44:18):
Yeah, we are always open for new sports. So, as I said also during the presentation, it all started with soccer. And then other clubs, other sports associations find out what we were doing with the system, they showed their interest. And then we just started with doing demos, doing tests and we started learning other sports. And yeah, that first started with sports that were close to soccer.
Martijn van Erven (44:45):
Like handball, for example. It’s almost the same size ball, same kind of field or basketball, it’s also pretty much similar. And then later on, we also started doing ice hockey floorball, which is very popular in Scandinavia and it’s been done in a very small ball. And we also got in touch with a bicycle association to do a cycling in a [inaudible 00:45:11]. So we’re always open to do new sports and make the system even smarter and better for other sports associations.
Jim Jachetta (45:24):
I imagine American football is similar to rugby, because sometimes the ball is covered by the player or they tuck the ball and then they run, but you would teach it the nuance. Do you set the unit? Do you tell it what sport’s in front of it so it doesn’t have to guess? Do you kind of guide it like we’re doing soccer today, we’re doing ice hockey tomorrow? You tell it, you put it in that mode?
Martijn van Erven (45:52):
Yeah, we have different AI algorithms. And we have a very nice scheduling tool, which is also available in our LinkMatrix. So LinkMatrix is basically the centralized portal to manage all of our systems. You can also schedule the games upfront. So you have, for example, tomorrow in an indoor venue you can have basketball.
Martijn van Erven (46:15):
So you can select the right day, the time. You can fill in the names of the playing teams. But you can also select the sports that’s being played. And once you do this, the system automatically knows how big the field this and which AI algorithm it needs to use. So if you select basketball, you automatically pick the basketball core and the basketball AI algorithm.
Martijn van Erven (46:41):
And based on this information, we can produce the right game., And maybe within a few hours in the same venue, you can also do floorball or, or handball or volleyball. So you can again, schedule the game, fill in the names of the playing teams, select the right AI algorithm, and you’re ready to go.
Jim Jachetta (47:01):
I know you asked earlier, David, our favorite sport. We did a lot of work with the NHL. So I was obsessed with hockey for a while. At Staple Center where the Kings play here in LA, they can change the venue from hockey to basketball within 12 hours. They put the parkour floor over the ice.
Jim Jachetta (47:27):
So in a venue like that, that would be a prime example where you put in the schedule. Saturday afternoon we’re doing basketball, but then Sunday we’re doing hockey and the system would know and automatically adapt to the different sport.
David Edwards (47:46):
That’s right, exactly. And you mentioned an important point at the top of this little bit of conversation, Jim, about the American football where the player holds the ball and he hides the ball. This system is so much more than a simple ball tracking AI engine. It recognizes the players. It can differentiate between a player and the referee.
David Edwards (48:10):
And so it’s not just simply following the ball because that will lead to AI mistakes. So I was talking to soccer a few weeks ago who were saying they’d tried some other systems. And when the ball was kicked out of play and someone went and threw in a different ball from a slightly different location, the camera didn’t follow it because it knew where the ball had disappeared to. And it wasn’t coming back from the same location and the whole system got stuck. The system-
Jim Jachetta (48:41):
Yeah. Well, I also imagine with programming, if it does temporarily lose track, you can train it to zoom out a little bit. Tell it let’s go a wide shot. Okay, now it’ll find… Because you would do that in a natural production. The director would be like, you’re not sure what’s going on. Let’s go wide. Camera three, go wide.
Jim Jachetta (49:03):
Okay, take three. And you take a slightly wider angle. Okay, now you reacquired the action. This is very good stuff. I think maybe we overwhelmed our attendees because maybe they have too many questions they’re afraid to ask, but we will, what VidOvation does is we will edit this video within a week, less than a week.
Jim Jachetta (49:30):
We will have it up on our website. We transcribe it. People can register to download the slides and watch the video. So that will be made available in under a week. And in the meantime, please reach out to VidOvation. You can reach out to us at vidovation.com. That’s V-I-D-O-V-A-T-I-O-N.com or give us a call at area code (949) 777-5435.
Jim Jachetta (50:03):
And VidOvation we’re very proud to represent the Vislink family of products with Mobile Viewpoint as one of the flagship product line within the Vislink family. So we’re very excited to help our customers create more content. With so many streaming platforms, content distribution networks, whether it’s OTT or traditional over the air, more content is needed.
Jim Jachetta (50:39):
So I think this is a great way to generate more content by minimizing the number of camera operators, because as we all know, content is king. That’s the intellectual property in our business, right? Or that’s the intellectual property in our customer’s business, is the content. So if we can help them generate more content at a lower price point, I think that’s win-win for everyone, right?
David Edwards (51:03):
Jim Jachetta (51:03):
And the team is here to help.
Martijn van Erven (51:05):
Jim Jachetta (51:06):
Great. Well, I think we just wrap it up. This is one of the shortest webinars. You guys are very efficient. I’ll ramble on for 90 minutes, so I enjoyed playing producer today. You guys did all the heavy lifting, so thank you Martijn or Martin, if we want to use your Anglo, Martijn or Martin, and thank you, David for sharing today. And we look forward to working with you guys and bringing some of our customers to your solution.
David Edwards (51:39):
Well, thank you very much, Jim.
Jim Jachetta (51:40):
Thanks guys. Have a good night. Bye-bye
Martijn van Erven (51:44):
Thank you. Bye-bye.
David Edwards (51:44):