SportsPost NY: With NAB Show Nearing, What Is the Future of Post?

With the 2013 edition of the NAB Show less than six weeks away, SVG closed out its inaugural SportsPost NY event last week with a panel that looked into the future of postproduction tools, many of which are likely to be on display in Las Vegas next month.

“I want to see a lot more automation technology [at the NAB Show] with less middle men and less components to do one job,” said Joe Franze, VP, business development and digital strategy, Brevity. “Brevity wants less hands touching the content, more automation, and less worries about the technical aspects. Let the producers do what they do best and get the content out.”

The Case for Post Standards
Much of the conversation at HBO’s Michael Fuchs Theater centered on the need for standards to create more structure in a postproduction world fraught with an ever expanding list of codecs and software systems.

“When you are on the innovation front, you can’t wait for standards to catch up,” said Danny Gold, EVP, strategy and solutions, Levels Beyond. “Standards make sense for hardware and signals, but software has never been an area where standards have really played well. They end up limiting you.

“At some point,” he continued, “somebody will break out of it. Then everybody wants to jump on that boat because it gives them something they didn’t have before. And, all of a sudden, standards are meaningless. I don’t mean to be pessimistic, but I don’t think you’re ever going to get everyone to agree.”

Going GoPro
The panel also addressed the growing role of non-traditional camera formats,  such as GoPro, in sports production. Extreme-sports properties, such as ESPN’s X Games, continue to drive adoption of GoPro cameras, but they have yet to be integrated on a mass scale into live-sports–production workflows.

“The biggest problem is intermixing that kind of [GoPro] material with traditional content from higher-quality cameras or resolutions,” said Matt Cohen, principal, Tekserve. “That can be a challenge at times. But you are seeing it a lot, especially in the extreme-sports world, and there are some spectacular images being creating there.”

Unlocking Your Library
In the world of sports content, the use of metadata and proper metadata assignment has been more integral to a successful operation. As digital libraries grow, producers must be able to easily access the wealth of content. Even as digital-asset–management technology progresses at a breakneck pace, Gold believes there is still much work to be done.

“The analytics question is the biggest issue for us in 2013,” he said. “You have to look at all the data and try to create a more reactive experience by tracking where you sent data, who viewed it, and how it is being shared socially. How can you use that for your library to unlock more of your content? About 5%-10% of the library is actively in use for most [of our clients]. I think there is a lot of data in there that can unlock more of that content.”

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