Ross, Tut Systems helps MLB.com take field
MLB.com Advanced Media heads into the 2006 season with new features on its site like Flash-based video on the home page and some additional ones to be unveiled later this month.
Keeping busy is never a problem at MLB.com Advanced Media (also known as BAM) as it handles not only its own needs but also those of CSTV and WCSN. When all of the NCAA men’s hoops fans were tapping into Internet streams of live basketball games it was BAM who handled all of the back-end magic.
A typical day during the season includes shooting two feature video shows, 12 hours of radio-on-TV programming, creating condensed games, highlights as well as serving the needs of clients like CSTV and WCSN. All told expect about 5,000 hours of new programming to be produced during the next seven months.
“We’re always looking to find out how we can take the raw video and audio assets from a baseball game and make those assets appropriate for different delivery platforms,” says Joe Inzerillo, MLB.com SVP, multimedia and distribution. “For example, a two-minute snippet is great for the iPod or cellphone but not for IPTV.”
With business booming at BAM expansion is on the way. Its current facility has one Ross Video Synergy production switcher that can handle up to three events at a time. And with two studios and a radio booth also on hand at its 31,000 sq. ft. home in the Chelsea Market building in Manhattan BAM needs all the capacity it can get.
One recent addition to its equipment arsenal was Ross Video’s OverDrive that lets the Ross Synergy production switcher interface with audio mixers, video servers, robotic cameras and other gear.
Inzerillo says OverDrive helps move the organization closer to its goal of more efficient productions that allow content to be turned around more quickly.
“Most organizations are not generating the volume of content we are and that changes our needs from those of others,” says Inzerillo. “Our content also has a shorter shelf life that only lasts until the next game so we need to get content our as quickly as possible.”
Another new technology that will help in that effort is the Astria encoding platform from Tut Systems. MLB.com streams out realtime broadcasts of every Major League Baseball game and also quickly builds highlight packages and condensed games. Astria systems have been deployed at every major league ballpark to encode games in broadcast-quality MPEG2 4:2:2 and MPEG2 4:2:0 and deliver it directly to BAM.
Inzerillo says after evaluating a number off system Astria was found to provide the best flexibility to support IP video transport to the central studio in New York. “Evolving to an all-IP video platform allows us to efficiently manage our video applications,” he adds.