What is in this article?:
- Video helps San Francisco Giants put best face forward
- Interleague Interplay
The team also makes extensive use of an Avid Interplay system, with which it ingests, manages and repurposes content stored on a newly installed (in February) Avid ISIS 5000 system with 96TB of capacity.
“It’s a lot of storage space, but the team feels, and rightly so, we will fill it up in a very short time frame,” Hodges said, adding that the team is in the process of digitizing years’ worth of game tapes and will probably be at it “forever.”
Once the tapes have been ingested into the system, all assets can be accurately tracked through the Avid Interplay using metadata tags (input during the logging stage) associated with each piece of content. With the Interplay, the team captures files in MXF wrappers and uses its media tools, such as Access and Assist, to help streamline the editing process.
Working on the Media Composer, the staff can place any format on the timeline and begin editing immediately. That’s important because it often has to turn around pieces quickly (sometimes in as little as 10 minutes) for the scoreboard during games. With version 5.5.3, the staff can work with footage shot at different frame rates (24fps, 30fps and 60fps). Before, Hodges said, it was a real challenge to mix and match the different signal types.
As per Major League Baseball rules, when the staff produces content for mobile devices, it creates an MPEG-4 file and sends it via FTP to MLB’s headquarters in New York City for public distribution to the variety of mobile video platforms.
A seamless future
For SFG Productions, the eventual goal is to make many of the production processes automatic, so that, for example, content can be created on the Media Composer, Chyron HyperX graphics added via a template and then sent directly to an EVS sever for playout on the scoreboard.
The department is now also looking at LTO-5 data tape for long-term archiving and the new Avid Interplay Sphere, a real-time “universal access” technology that will allow it to edit and finish packages remotely from Spring Training (in Scottsdale, AZ), using assets stored in San Francisco.
“It’s important that we keep up with the technology and use the latest tools to our advantage,” Hodges said. “When we made this initial investment in the scoreboard and edit rooms in 2007, it was to support a new HD scoreboard. At that time, we were using different vendors for different things. It was a hodgepodge of technology that required a lot of manual labor. With our new equipment and system design, we feel we are better able to handle whatever the team throws our way.”
With today’s baseball fans exposed to all types of video content in their living rooms and elsewhere, it’s incumbent upon the team to keep fans thinking about the San Francisco Giants, no matter where they are. That’s where SFG Productions comes in. With a high on-base percentage (it covers all the bases) and an eagerness to embrace the latest video technology for the good of the fans, it could be the team’s most valuable player.
Paul Hodges, executive producer
Chris Gargano, senior director of marketing and entertainment
Brad Martens, digital media coordinator
Brian Botel, founding partner/project manager
Technology at work
Avid Interplay system, ISIS storage array, Media Composer workstations
Canon 7D DSLR camera
Chyron HyperX graphics
EVS XT2 server
Panasonic AG-AF100 and
AG-HVX200 HD cameras
Sony HDC-1400 HD cameras, MVS-8000 production switcher
—Michael Grotticelli regularly reports on the professional video and broadcast technology industries.