University of Miami Stays Connected on Campus With Newtek NC1 Studio I/O Module

The transition to an IP-based network is paying dividends

The University of Miami offers a wide variety of sports on its expansive 239-acre campus in South Florida. With only a few days until the start of the college football season (and another year on the athletic calendar), the need to cover every moment of the action is paramount. While other schools are using classical production methods, Manager of Production Services Anthony Lestochi and his team are deploying the capabilities of Newtek’s NC1 Studio I/O Module video system.

“We originally bought [the NC1 in October 2017] so we can bring video to our basketball arena,” he says. “From there, we started using it for other things as well.”

In its third year on the market, the NC1 provides eight SDI connections and software, enabling the university’s team to transmit and receive stats, replays, audio, and other information with minimal delay on a local IP network in real time. From a general standpoint, the NC1 will grant more access and higher-quality material to more people at other venues.

The Payoff
The NDI-enabled NC1 comes with other advantages in terms of logistics. With a local public network, the need for resources, such as cameras and staff, decreases. With fewer employees and equipment onsite, the team can produce events with less congestion. Outside of the actual working location, the university has the opportunity to create a stronger relationship with its IT department, integrating its members into the operations process.

The University of Miami is currently overhauling its control room with major renovations in time for next year’s launch of the linear ACC Network.

In addition to the tangible success, the approach does not break the bank financially. According to NewTek, the box is more cost-efficient than the traditional method.

As use of the system has expanded, the production team has become more comfortable with the equipment and has embraced other multifaceted features to stretch the crew’s creativity and enhance the level of production.

One example is conversion for file compatibility. “It’s a great tool for troubleshooting,” says Lestochi. “To receive stats, scores, and official times from track and field events, they were sending out a 720p signal, and the NC1 was able to convert it to 1080i for our control room.”

The intriguing situation at the University of Miami is that the team can use NDI but can also return to the traditional method of sending media through a fiber network on campus. Typical Newtek equipment, such as TriCasters and 3Play, is still being used for in-venue videoboards, but now, after almost a year using the module, the University of Miami is continuing to improve its strategy with NDI.

“There are a few times at the beginning of the spring when there’s basketball and baseball going on at the same time, and that’s our most challenging time of the year,” says Lestochi. “With the TriCaster at basketball and the TC1 at baseball, we can cross-promote venues while [the events are] going on.”

Lestochi and the University of Miami expect the NC1 to be a critical cornerstone of the program’s future. “Ultimately, we’re going to continue using the NC1,” Lestochi says. “Just having the ability to deploy it somewhere and connect it to a network is extremely beneficial.”

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