By: Jason Dachman
The MLB All-Star Game show is always a showcase for cutting-edge production tools and tech toys. Tech vendors turned out in droves to Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark, providing specialty cameras, virtual graphics, unique studio set designs, High Dynamic Range demos, and much more to Fox Sports, ESPN, MLB Network, and other broadcasters covering the festivities. Here is a brief look at some of the tech highlights at MLB All-Star 2015.
Sportvision Provides Virtual Ads for International Feeds Sportvision was back at All-Star, providing virtual-ad insertion for the behind-home-plate signage within MLB’s various international feeds.
Sportvision’s Andrew Lorenz inside SV15
Sportvision rolled out two Sprinter vans for the operation: SV14 and SV15. SV14 was dedicated to Fox Sports digital ad insertion (on the center and tight-center cameras) and a customized feed for Canadian-rights holder Rogers Sportsnet, which takes the Fox Sports broadcast feed but inserts its own virtual-ad signage. SV15 inserted virtual ads into the centerfield camera on international feeds (Dominican, Asia, and non–Rogers-customized Canada), with an additional dedicated stream for Japanese broadcaster NHK, which cut its own show, using the MLB world feed and its own unilateral camera feeds.
“Basically, we take in a single camera feed, and we have master/slave computers that output various different versions of the ads to the various markets,” says Andrew Lorenz, manager, broadcast production and operations, Sportvision. “It’s an instrumented system, so we have our proprietary pan head and lens encoders installed, which gives us a much higher-quality product than you would get with a vision-only–based system.”