The NHL Stanley Cup Final series between the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks is using electronically generated analysis tools for viewers at home, supplied by Vizrt and its LiberoVision sports analysis technology division.
Since its acquisition in 2010, LiberoVision, a Zurich-based sports analysis company, is now a fully integrated part of the Vizrt workflow. Its Libero Highlight platform — which offers sports analysis tools as a stand-alone product, or in combination with Vizrt content production tools — allows broadcasters to produce realistic 3-D replays without the need for additional infrastructure or staff.
The Libero Highlight application employs LiberoVision’s patented image processing technology to instantly transform live camera feeds into realistic 3-D representations that allow viewers to essentially fly over the playing field to review key moments in the action from the best possible perspectives.
In the United States, NBC Sports and VERSUS, both members of the NBC Sports Group, are using Libero Highlight for 3-D replay analysis during the best-of-seven games final. In Canada, The Sports Network (TSN) is using Libero Highlight’s interface to visualize tactical aspects of the game. TSN is Canada's leading, English-language sports TV channel.
Sam Flood, executive producer for NBC Sports and VERSUS, said the technology provides a unique, tactical perspective that helps bring the audience “inside the glass and gives them the best seat in the house.”
VERSUS has been using Libero Highlight for live, on-air replay analysis of its games since the 2010 NHL playoffs. Before this year’s Stanley Cup Final, NBC featured Libero Highlight during its 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games hockey coverage and for the 2010 NHL playoffs. TSN is using Libero Highlight for post-game analysis and various shows tied to the Stanley Cup Final.
LiberoVision’s 3-D sports analysis and replay system has been integrated into Vizrt’s broadcast graphics and media asset management (MAM) products. With this integration, sportscasters can deliver their Libero Highlight clips — with defined starts/stops and annotations — into the Vizrt workflow. They can then control the playback of the clips from an Apple iPad using Viz Anchor or any other Vizrt control software and play it out through the Viz Engine embedded in graphics. Users can also export metadata, such as short text, which is rendered by Viz Engine, Vizrt’s real-time rendering engine. This also means that the LiberoVision analysis can support video walls, virtual sets and content distribution to mobile devices.