Slow Motion Instant Replay ControllersBUF Technology: The Art Of Control

At BUF, we can't and don't take credit for the success of our replay controllers; that honor goes to our users. We begin with a robust hardware design using carefully selected components. Then we go through a software design process, with emphasis on our specialty: human-to-machine interfacing. Much time is spent perfecting how each control acts. For instance, when you turn the knob on a BUF controller, you feel like you're turning the hub of a "one-inch" machine (remember that feeling?). Our sliding slo-mo speed control, The Slide, is the company's answer to the T-Bar. The Slide uses a Penny & Giles high-quality motorized fader, which provides software-controlled tactile feedback.

Next comes the user feedback phase, where we put the product in the hands of a wide variety of users, then pick their brains. Users make suggestions, improvements are planned and discussed, then implemented. The result is a widespread, well-received, continually improving controller with a long and useful lifetime.

Many high profile clients have called upon BUF to create modifications to our standard products to meet their specific requirements. A few years ago, when professional football decided to bring replay back into officiating, it searched for the ideal replay system. To avoid the delays that caused the discontinuation of the previous system, the new incarnation had to be simple and fast. Leitch Technology contacted us to help with the user interface. Working in a team atmosphere with football league officials, BUF and Leitch engineers created a control system that met all the leagues' needs. Leitch and BUF won the contract to outfit all stadiums with this new control system, which comprised two slightly modified BUF control panels, a Leitch video server, and a touch screen-driven software package that Leitch designed. This control system has been utilized during every game over the past several seasons without a single failure.

The latest addition to BUF's line of replay products is the new Sport Integrated Replay System. Designed for cost-sensitive and space-limited applications, Sport is a replay controller with a miniature built-in video server. No larger than the company's standard replay control panel, it is equipped with rear panel video and audio I/O. While the standalone version is composite and Y/C only, Sport is available without the internal DDR for use with external servers. It also features fast and easy to use playlist and looping. Each of the 10 playlists can be quickly set up to play up to 100 of the controller's 1000 cue points back to back with seamless edits. Individual clips or entire playlists can be looped indefinitely. The newly added "Fast Jog" feature and the use of our extremely high-resolution knob allows users to jog at up to 30 times play speed, yet still move pictures frame by frame.

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