Streaming and advanced graphics drive the streaming of student-athlete experiences
CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, APRIL 26, 2021 – With 42 sports teams, Harvard University’s athletics department offers one of the largest and most historic programs in the country. From football and basketball to hockey, rugby, skiing, swimming and rowing, among others, the school’s sporting events attract the attention of spectators, alumni and professional scouts. The university broadcasts approximately 300 live and recorded events in a typical year, the majority of which are now broadcast live on ESPN+, ESPN’s direct-to-consumer platform. The school also features images of its sports teams on its various social media channels, such as Facebook and YouTube.
In order to capture and transmit all the action seamlessly, the Ivy League school relies on a variety of equipment, including the GY-HC500SPC CONNECTED CAM™ and GY-HM890 camcorders from JVC Professional Video, a division of JVCKENWOOD USA Corporation. Equipped with an IP-based production workflow solution in a compact form factor, the GY-HC500SPC sports production and training cameras provide the university with the streaming and advanced graphics needed to fully share performances and stories of his student-athletes.
While these models are used to capture and livestream mobile sporting events, such as skiing and rowing, Harvard’s video production team also relies on KY-PZ100 robotic PTZ cameras and PTZ controllers RM-LP100, which are installed at the various school sites. fields and arenas. The team additionally has a large stable of other JVC camera models, such as the GY-HM250, GY-HM790, and GY-HM600, which they use for various broadcasts.
When Imry Halevi, assistant director of athletics at Harvard University, first joined the team eight years ago, he decided to call on JVC. Tasked with running the department’s multimedia, streaming, and video services, Halevi knew he had to find reliable equipment that would fit the school’s budget and also deliver the high-quality images he wanted.
“Our mission is to tell the stories of our incredible student-athletes, coaches and alumni, and to preserve the history of sport at Harvard,” Halevi says. “That’s why we ended up making streaming one of our priorities. We want to make sure that if you’re an alumnus or fan of a Harvard athlete, coach, or student team, you can follow everything they do. Even if you can’t attend the games in person, we will help you watch these games from afar,” he says.
Once the decision was made to buy the technology and rely on the university’s infrastructure to broadcast the games live, Halevi got to work expanding his JVC arsenal. “I’ve always been a fan of JVC’s picture quality, I like the way it looks,” he adds. “I’ve used cameras from other manufacturers and JVC just seems the best.”
In addition to the quality of the images, Halevi explains that he also chose camcorders because they allow students in training to easily use professional equipment. “With all menus and controls in the same position on all models, we can provide our students with a basic knowledge to easily switch between current school cameras, as well as feel comfortable with the new camcorders. that we could acquire.”
As long-time JVC users, Halevi and her team sometimes have the unique opportunity to provide important feedback on current cameras and suggestions for improvements for next-gen versions. To ensure broadcast-quality sports productions, Halevi requested a capture-grade camera similar to its beloved GY-HM890 that could also provide advanced graphics, connectivity and streaming. “We wanted something that was easy to use and had a large sensor, as we often shoot in low light. I gave them all my specs and said, “you know, the 890s are great, but I need something smaller that I can just pack.” In turn, they introduced me to the GY-HC500SPC,” recalls Halevi.
The new GY-HC500SPC smart cameras recently came in handy during Harvard’s ski season, a tough, cold-weather mountain production setup, Halevi says. “When we sent the students up the mountain it turned out to be like the coldest day of the year – minus 20 degrees with wind chill. It was crazy. My biggest worry was that the cameras would stop working because I couldn’t reasonably expect them to work in all temperatures,” he recalls. However, Halevi said the JVCs are equipped with Porta Brace Polar Bear packs and Hot Hands hand warmers, which keep cameras, batteries, cables and even lenses warm enough to keep plugging in.
“We filmed from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Never had a camera turned off, not even had a hiccup; It was amazing. While that’s not why we chose JVCs, it certainly reinforced why we use them. I expect them to work under normal conditions, but when I throw them unexpected conditions and they keep working, we know we have a camera brand for life,” Halevi concludes.