AJA Gear Clutch for Harvard Athletics Streaming

Ivy League school streams its athletic events to multiple content delivery networks.
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GRASS VALLEY, Calif.—Harvard alumni who still want to cheer on their beloved Crimson teams can do so across the country through a number of different streaming services, including ESPN+, regional outfit NESN and the Ivy League’s international streaming platform. To handle these multiple avenues of streaming, Harvard’s Athletics Department’s multimedia and production teams utilizes AJA technology to produce and broadcast home games in H.264.

AJA-Harvard

In an effort to boost its production capabilities, the Harvard production team added new cameras, graphics, audio equipment and other gear, including AJA’s HELO, U-TAP and Ki Pro Ultra systems.

One example of Harvard putting its AJA gear to use is for coverage of its tennis and squash teams. Six AJA HELO recording, streaming and encoding devices are included in a rack that receives audio and video signals. SDI outputs are fed to each of the six HELOs, one per court, and streaming to ESPN+ in H.264 via RTMP, as well as recorded for archiving.

Two HELO systems are also deployed in the control rooms for basketball and hockey/football for streaming needs outside traditional live production, including being connected to DirecTV receivers to capture H.264 footage from away games. In total, the production team says it has 14 HELO units for all of its productions.

AJA’s Ki Pro Ultra 4K/UHD/2K/HD recorder/player is another system put to use in the hockey control room to meet requests for uncompressed ProRes and/or DNx footage. In addition, the U-TAP SDI USB 3.0-powered SDI capture devices from AJA double the number of feeds that the Harvard production team can capture when live streaming with Wirecast on MacBook Pros.

Harvard uses this technology to help it produce 300 broadcast-quality streams a yer, per Imry Halevi, assistant director of athletics, multimedia and production for Harvard.