Avid Unity, Interplay Help Yankee Stadium Tackle First Football Game

Yankee Stadium this weekend will shift into college-football mode, posing a challenge for the scoreboard-video production team and its recently upgraded Avid Interplay production systems and Unity shared-storage system.

“We’re doing more than just baseball, with football games coming up and other special events,” says Greg Colello, producer, Scoreboard and Broadcasting, for the New York Yankees. “We’re starting to look more and more like a broadcast facility.”

The Unity system has 48 TB of storage (24 TB mirrored), and the Media Composer has 16 TB of storage, with all content relying on Avid’s DNxHD 145 codec. This week, the Yankees team is finishing up elements like trivia questions, highlight videos, and graphics for the football game. And yes, it is even time to prepare for Yankees spring training in February.

“We try to do as much pre-production as we can because it’s such a short window,” says Colello. “We’ll load footage in and get ourselves in a position to edit when we get back [from spring training].” An Avid laptop editing system also makes the trip to Tampa Bay, FL, for spring training.

Colello says the move to tapeless began in 2009 when the production team moved into the new stadium.

“In the old stadium, we were constantly looking for tapes and using the same clips,” says Colello. “But, with Interplay, we can call up the window and see all of the clips. And, with consistent labeling, it makes it easy to move content around. In the past, we would have to spit content out to tape and then load it in. Here, it is as simple as a right click on the mouse and the content is sent to the EVS system. It has really sped up the process.”

The Avid gear includes two Symphony Nitris and two Media Composer systems. Two of the edit suites are located outside of the Yankee Stadium video-control room, with another in a corner of the control room. Avid’s Transfer Manager is one of the most important tools, instantly sending content to the EVS server for playout during the games, and Sony XDCAM camcorders are on hand for ENG needs.

“We’ll use content from our own cameras and also feed from the YES Network,” adds Colello. The EVS server has four channels in and two channels out. Highlights will be built during the game and then, afterwards, transferred to the Avid for repackaging and voiceover for use during the next game.

The staff of four is split into two entities, with Colello and Nima Ghandforush, senior producer for Scoreboard and Broadcasting, handling in-game elements like features and graphics, and Peter Gergely, senior producer, and Brandon Mihm, producer, Yankees On Demand, build an hour of original programming a week. That content is seen on AT&T’s Uverse service, at Yankees.com, and also on the scoreboard during rain delays and prior to Yankee games.

“We’ll do three 20-minute features or seven pieces of varying lengths,” says Gergely.

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