Thu 10th May, 2012
Four-channel Mira at the center of increased live sports coverage
University of Pittsburgh Athletics has installed a four-channel Abekas Mira multichannel server in their new broadcast control room at the Peterson Events Center in Pittsburgh, PA. The Mira server is used for live instant replay, highlights clip playback, and interstitials insertion during live sports broadcasts and post-game shows.
As part of an expansion of their broadcasting capabilities, Pitt’s Athletics department is installing fiber connections to each of their athletics facilities across the university campus. The installation of a brand new broadcast center, combined with the new fiber connectivity will allow the department to expand their live coverage beyond football and basketball to include a wide range of tier-two sports such as soccer, baseball, and wrestling. The installation of a new score board together with other display monitors around the venue, which are fed by the broadcast control room where the Abekas Mira is installed, provides in-game coverage and post-game programming for the venue audience.
“For budgetary reasons, we use students to operate the broadcast systems on game day wherever possible,” explains Paul Barto III, director of PantherVision Productions. “One of the first things that attracted us to the Mira was its ease of operation. The intuitive interface means students can quickly become comfortable with Mira in the high-stress atmosphere of a live broadcast. Another key factor for us was the price point,” says Barto. “It’s hard to beat the flexibility and reliability that Mira delivers; and we’ll be expanding our system soon to give ourselves even more production flexibility.”
The broadcast center at Pitt is connected via fiber to Comcast in Philadelphia. The cable provider broadcasts live sports and airs the post-game shows on their service with interstitials inserted by Mira. The flexibility of the four-channel Mira allows the Live Instant Replay operator to prepare highlight clips as the game is in progress. This has dramatically improved the timeliness of in-game highlights and packaged replays after the game.
“Pitt Athletic Department’s deployment of Mira underscores the value the server delivers to live college sports broadcasting around the world,” says Junaid Sheikh, CEO of Abekas. “It’s great to see the student operators take to Mira so quickly and produce professional programming with just a small amount of training.”