Orad’s Track Telestrator To Get On-Air Test With CBS Football

By John Rice
Viewers of this
weekend’s match-up between the Cincinnati Bengals and New York Giants may get a
new perspective on the game. CBS will be testing Orad’s new Track Telestrator
during the contest.
The Track Telestrator
is one feature in Orad’s MVP (Motion Video Play) that was recently used for
CBS’s coverage of the US Open tennis tournament. But the Track Telestrator “has
not been used in any sports broadcasts yet,” says Orad VP of sales and
marketing for North America Shaun Dail.
With Track Telestrator,
the analyst annotates the screen, and the telestration marks move with the play
when the clip is run. “In the past,” says Dail, “when you saw a telestration,
you saw a drawing on a frozen or fixed frame.”
According to Julianna
Barbieri, manager of CBS Sports Graphics, the Track Telestrator should provide
“more player tracking. We’ll see how the play progresses on the field: When the
player ran, how did he run? Where did the quarterback move to? How did the
players progress through the play, break tackles, that sort of thing.”
Steve Karasik, coordinating
producer for CBS Sports, explains, “There are all sorts of applications [of the
MVP system] that we can use.” During the game, the production crew will be
working closely with Dan Dierdorf in the booth in selecting which plays to
analyze using MVP. “Obviously, from a former player’s standpoint, he knows
better than anyone what is going on on the field and in the trenches.
“Once we decide what to
do,” he continues, “one of our EVS operators will feed a play [to the Orad team
in the production truck]. They will use their technology and feed it back to
our EVS operator, who will roll it back to air.”
Dail points out that “any
of the enhancements that have been done in the past require camera
modifications. [MVP] does not require modifications and can handle up to 16
cameras. It takes about 10 minutes to calibrate the system. It’s a lot cheaper
to operate and maintain.”
Says Karasik, “We have
a lot of ideas. But in the same sense, it’s a live football game. We don’t want
to put something on the air just for the sake of putting it on the air. We want
it to have a real meaning and application that enhances what viewers are
watching, and hopefully informs them of why something is happening.
“In the same respect,”
he adds, “it’s great eye candy, and it’s fun!”

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