August 16, 2013
Ole Miss Rebels Sports Productions operates an HD control room that services football, basketball and baseball games. They have four in-house cameras, with another four provided by remote trucks on game day. In addition to in-stadium scoreboard and playback to other displays across campus, broadcasts are distributed on Olemisssports.com, when not on ESPN, and productions can be delivered to ESPN3. The university recently took delivery of an eight channel Abekas Mira Instant Replay server with dual Mira Control Surface panels.
Ole Miss Sports Productions contracts with freelancers to operate their new eight-channel Abekas Mira Instant Replay server. Two independent Mira Control Surface panels allow the Ole Miss crew to configure the Mira in dual-user, ISO5 mode. This lets one operator record five cameras feeds and deliver two output channels with one Mira Control Surface, while a second operator has access to the same five camera feeds and uses a single output channel to create highlights playlists, interstitials and bumpers on a second Mira Control Surface.
“This configuration allows us to show fans more replays—but to also deliver a scoring drive summary, quarterly and halftime highlight packages, and other promotions,” says Jeremy Havens, Assistant Athletics Director, Ole Miss Sports Productions.
Ole Miss approached Abekas to make a modification to the Mira Instant Replay software. They want to capture four channels of audio for every camera. This way they can not only capture natural sound from the field but also the play-by-play from the announcer’s booth. This provides even more creative options to engage fans with playlist replays.
“What attracted us to the Mira was the ease of use, versatility of configuration, workflow with NLEs, and redundancy & reliability,” says Havens. “We use freelance operators today but, seeing how easy it is to operate, we intend to start using students to cover replays in the future,” he adds.
Ole Miss freelance operators attended on-site, hands-on training of Mira with an Abekas instructor. “The operators came into the training a little apprehensive when they first saw the new Mira Control Surface, but a couple hours into the training everyone was on the same page with how much faster the Mira will make our productions,” explained Havens.
One of the key features of Mira that Ole Miss Sports Productions plans to take significant advantage of is the workflow with NLEs. The ability, at the end of the game, to melt all the clips including four-channels of audio, into the NLE allows the editor to start producing highlight packages and their weekly TV show far earlier. The playlist functionality and naming conventions within Mira eliminates the need to search through hours of content to find the big plays. “It makes the job of production dramatically easier,” concludes Havens.