ScoreBox helps schools, scoreboards have big-time graphic look

By Carolyn Braff
In the world of high definition, graphic-infused, polished-till-they-shine sports broadcasts, HZA & Associates is helping the little guys to keep up.
With HZA & Associates ScoreBox technology, non-network sports broadcasts across the country can look more like their shiny network counterparts. ScoreBox gives television broadcast operators, even those lacking in technical know-how, the ability to post full-time on-screen scores, game clocks, team graphics, sponsor information, and other user-designed components, providing information not previously available to audiences of non-network productions.

It s very user friendly, and the secret to that is that we use it ourselves, says Howard Zuckerman, president of HZA & Associates. The company also runs a production operation, so Zuckerman is familiar with the process of broadcasting sporting events, and sensitive to the needs of clients who are less technologically inclined.

Anybody who is computer savvy and is familiar with the sport that they re operating it for can learn this in a half hour, Zuckerman says. It s that simple.

ScoreBox, which operates off of a laptop computer, allows users to customize both the content displayed and the format in which it appears, choosing between various strip and bug configurations. Customers can also implement school and sponsor graphics themselves, without going through the third-party installation process required by comparable products.

It s completely user configurable, so you can put in a graphic and it s there, Zuckerman says.

HZA & Associates, a two-man operation based in Woodland Hills, CA, began three years ago, when Zuckerman realized that instead of leasing a unit to create score box graphics, individuals should be able to purchase a unit at a considerably lower cost. He now sells three ScoreBox units for roughly the cost of a single unit lease. The young company already boasts more than 35 clients at universities and broadcast networks across the country, from KWHE Hawaii to Texas Tech University.

In addition to being a sales-only operation, ScoreBox has an edge on its competition in its no-cost product revisions.

We do a tremendous service job on it, so we continually update programs and add new programs at no charge to the customer, Zuckerman explains. Among the recent updates put out by ScoreBox are new soccer and hockey programs, as well as a volleyball program slated to debut in the next two months.

Another recent innovation is the ability to connect the ScoreBox unit directly to a stadium score board. Using an RS232 output from the scoreboard controller, ScoreBox can receive data directly from the scoreboard. The thing basically runs itself when it s hooked up to the score board, Zuckerman says. If the stadium has an RS232, we re in business.

ScoreBox comes on a 17-inch laptop computer system or a rack-mount configuration, and is operated by an individual at the event site, control room, or transmission point. The system is available in analog ($11,000) or digital ($13,200), and the company offers its own product and technical support.

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