PBR Instant Replay Leaps Out of Chute with Tightrope Media Systems’ ZEPLAY

The Professional Bull Riders, with 1,200 bull riders competing in more than 300 annual events, has added Tightrope Media Systems’ ZEPLAY system to trigger fast instant replay for its live telecasts.

The Professional Bull Riders organization has relationships with CBS Sports Network, NBC Sports Network, YouTube and other broadcast entities for its Built Ford Tough Series, televised weekly. Two mobile trucks accommodate live show production and broadcast links on location at each event, with ZEPLAY precisely and efficiently handling all instant replay duties.

Danial Semar, live events video director for the Professional Bull Riders, notes that ZEPLAY brings new multichannel capabilities to the production, displaying four live camera angles on built-in monitors for replay consideration.

“ZEPLAY raises our quality level by taking us from simple ‘slo-mo’ regurgitation of the program feed to giving us multiple instant replay choices,” says Semar. “Within seconds we can spit out the angle of our choosing in very high-quality and go live as we dictate. It’s quick and snappy, and it’s very impressive.”

Semar points to low cost and strong features as key reasons for choosing ZEPLAY. The all-in-one design integrates storage, multiviewing, switching and four bidirectional channels, allowing a single operator to make quick, intelligent replay decisions in fast-paced live production environments with tremendous ease of use. According to Semar, the learning curve is simple, with production staff able to take the seat on a moment’s notice following a quick ten-minute walkthrough.

Semar also notes that ZEPLAY’s meta-tagging options allow him to uniquely label clips by rider, date and other details — and quickly pull content from the archives for instant replay on request.

“There is no time to slow down — we have eight seconds to capture feeds, turn them around and make entertainment,” says Semar. “If we need to pull something from the archives I don’t have to dig through many hours of video files to find a specific clip. ZEPLAY gives us the live visual feedback, archival recall, and time we need to evaluate angles and make quick decisions for the in-house mix. We can continue to grow with it.”

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