MSG pulls trigger on VDS ticker

By Andrew Lippe

Video Design Software (VDS) has been selected by the MSG Network to provide an HD sports ticker system to display live and out-of town scores and statistics from various professional sports leagues. The scores and statistical data for the ticker system are provided by PA SportsTicker.

“Every client comes up with their own graphics style guide, and how they want the graphical aspects of the ticker to appear on television,” said Steve Papadakis, Director of Sales at VDS. “We then incorporate the graphics into our own software the Gametrak Client/Server application. Then based on the graphic style guide MSG provided we developed the ticker.”

GameTrak allows television broadcasters like MSG to display graphics from an external data source. All data processed by the VDS Gametrak is stored in the Sportbase central database.

The ticker system is displayed in the standard, lower-third display format. There is also a “live event” mode option, in which the size of the ticker becomes reduced to provide maximum screen coverage for HD broadcasts. These include broadcasts of New York Knicks basketball games and New York Rangers hockey games. “Though NHL displays different statistical information the overall choreography of the ticker is the same,” said Papadakis.

The VDS system requires only one PC to host the GameTrak Server and once that server is setup it operates automatically without an operator. The system allows full editing control during games, and includes a customized database of leagues, teams, period, and sponsor information.

There is also a “Viewer Mode” that updates every 5 seconds to see specific leagues, and a color highlighting scheme to show changes in games. The system also has the unique ability to create playlists of statistics, a main requirement MSG wanted for their ticker.

“Our biggest asset is our flexibility,” said Papadakis. Using equipment at MSG’s uplink facility, Rainbow Network Communications in Bethpage, NY all information can be updated live and be used for future broadcasts.

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