ST. LOUIS—After having gone without a significant upgrade since Busch Stadium was built 10 years ago, the stadium’s production capabilities weren’t as sophisticated as what some other MLB teams were doing—i.e replays. But I had a goal as we headed into a renovation, keeping an eye on EVS systems for quite a while. We just had to be ready. And with tight budgets, we had to get more from a system in order to justify the expenditure.
The XT3s continuous loop recording helps ensure that the production never misses any action. After seeing an EVS demo, we knew exactly what a new system could deliver. In 2015, we began an overhaul of our control room that now includes two of EVS’ latest next-generation XT production servers at the core, giving us significantly more channel capacity as well as the flexibility of SD/HD, 1080p or 4K configuration.
KEEPING AN EYE ON THE BALL
We now have full replay and highlight capabilities and support for super slow motion cameras and editing. The non-stop loop recording on the XT3 also ensures that we never miss any action. I knew enough about EVS to expect all of this functionality, and I fully expected the system to do it fast and without issues, but we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the workflow efficiencies we’ve experienced since implementing the new system, particularly in digitizing and archiving, transferring clips and file conversion. Speed was an issue before the upgrade and now the system is so fast, clips are ready to go before the play is even over. And we don’t need to export in only one codec; we’re wide open to all different formats, which is a big advantage.
Our operators use EVS’ IPDirector content management suite to import and export clips and build highlights, which are delivered to an Avid system through all-fiber connections. The ability to push clips back and forth and kick highlights to Avid is critical and a huge time saver. We’re now using EVS to get everything into the system and we’re also actively working to archive old footage and highlight reels. We’re really interested to see what the system can do and so far we haven’t been disappointed.
EXPANDING THE FIELD
The additional channel capacity allows us to use content from our stadium cameras in new ways, including a new feature called “Flavor of the Game,” where EVS operators are on the lookout for colorful fan shots.
In addition, with our new replay capabilities, we can bring dramatic, up-close action to the scoreboard—the kind of video that’s no longer just delivered by the broadcaster. We’re delivering cool, high frame-rate moments and people are eating it up.
At the core, this is what it’s all about: Improving the experience for both fans at home and in the stadium.
Craig Wilson oversees the St. Louis Cardinals’ audio, video and graphic production for the team’s in-game, multi-media entertainment presentation at Busch Stadium. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org by calling 314-345-9590.
For more information, please visit www.evs.comor call 973-575-7812.