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Sporting production highlights

If you’re watching anything on, for example, UHD Sky Sports and many other sports broadcasters around the world, there’s a very good chance that the audio and video are synced using our MatchBox technology. Production companies, mainly for sport but not exclusively, either buy or hire MatchBox devices to cover football, cycling, motor racing, golf, rugby, baseball, sailing, tennis, major international games – and increasingly, eSport - you name it both domestically and internationally.

Sport product developments

The have been numerous new developments, but one we are particularly excited about is “Glass”.  Glass is a new mobile app lip sync tool, currently optimised for Apple iPhone or iPad environments.

A Glass-enabled iPhone or iPad can be held in shot in front of a camera to ensure audio and video sync. It does this with a distinct and measurable flash and audio tone that can be read by Hitomi’s “MatchBox Analyser” in a master control room, studio, or OB vehicle.  It’s a very fast (a couple of seconds) and effective way to ensure lip sync is correct before going live.

Glass is also a camera alignment tool. Point multiple cameras at the same iPad or iPhone and the system will measure the latency difference between them.  For example, if a mixture of wired and wireless cameras is used then a measured time correction factor can be added to get a perfect cut.

The Glass app is free and available from the Apple Store. A licence will be required for those at the receiving end of the content.

Technology trends shaping sports production workflows

Opportunities for remote production in sport will continue to accelerate as broadcasters and production companies take advantage of new technologies to cover events in ways that until recently were not possible. The advent of 4K has its own set of sync issues. In either case, we continue to be a major enabler of such endeavours by providing the ability to quickly and accurately sync multiple feeds. Not only do we measure things when they are wrong, we provide reassurance that they have been corrected.

Coupled with remote production we are seeing an increasing use of IP in live workflows.  This brings with it its own risks for timing errors and unique synchronisation issues.  Hitomi is working to incorporate IP directly into MatchBox to keep its position as the go-to equipment for line-up.

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