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UMass Enters New Era With Zeplay - TvTechnology

UMass Enters New Era With Zeplay

More colleges and universities are producing their own sporting events and delivering them across multiple platforms including broadcast partners, digital online sites and social media platforms.

AMHERST, MASS.—More colleges and universities are producing their own sporting events and delivering them across multiple platforms including broadcast partners, digital online sites and social media platforms.

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The Zeplay system is located in UMass’ Mullen Center, home for basketball and hockey games. The University of Massachusetts now produces 80–100 NCAA Division I games each year. Currently we produce games for the Atlantic 10 Digital Network and soon will take part in the A-10’s Facebook Live initiative. Thanks to the vision of our Director of Athletics Ryan Bamford, we now offer these and a multitude of other delivery options to our fans and alumni.

To do this, during the Fall 2016 semester, we launched our new master control room, featuring a Zeplay instant replay server from Tightrope Media Systems, among other professional gear.

MAKING THE GRADE

The new broadcast infrastructure was designed to support our current initiatives, and provide external programming capabilities to current and future broadcast partners. Located on the concourse of The Mullins Center—home to UMass basketball and ice hockey programs—we will also use the control room to send a separate program feed, rich with Zeplay-driven instant replay video, to the new in-stadium displays in the Mullins Center set to open later this year.

Zeplay is a critical production element because it embellishes our programs with network-quality instant replays and highlights. Zeplay’s multichannel capability (four inputs, four outputs) provides the dexterity to accommodate simultaneous separate replay workflows, including outputs for multiple external and live stream programs.

A prime example of Zeplay’s flexibility is how it supports official replay. The Zeplay operator creates replays from multiple camera angles, leveraging Zeplay’s built-in multiviewer, and uses the switching options to output any of its four outputs to the officials’ monitor at a courtside table. These official replays are done without interfering with the main program feed, which allows a smooth production workflow.

BEYOND THE COURT

Zeplay’s storage and native codec support also provide benefits post-game. Operators export 10–12 replay clips for use in highlight reels used for promotions and UMass’ athletics website and social media sites.

Beyond its technical capabilities, Zeplay was an ideal choice because it interoperates very cleanly with our acquisition and infrastructure gear. With about 20 students trained to handle all facets of live production, including producing the replays and highlights, it is easy to learn, which is important given the varying skillsets of student operators. Zeplay’s user-friendly, intuitive interface accelerates the learning curve, and operates dependably during our live events. Above all, Zeplay is a highly reliable system that never misses a beat, providing an exceptional fan experience for all.

John Sinnett can be reached at jsinnett@admin.umass.edu.

For more information, please visit www.trms.comor call 866-866-4118.