Miami Heat Upgrades In-House Productions With Abekas Mira Server

When AmericanAirlines Arena, home of the Miami Heat, upgraded its live-production suite to HD in 2009, Senior Director of Broadcast Services Ed Filomia needed a server that would serve multiple purposes. In addition to interfacing with a Sony 8000 switcher, the server had to do transitional elements and serve a playback function, to play back elements on non-game days. When Filomia came across the Abekas Mira 4 Channel server, he knew he had found what he was looking for.

“We were looking for something that could not only talk to the switcher and give us a server for transitional elements, such as sponsored replay wipes, but also be able to provide us with additional channels for ISO records,” Filomia says. “We also wanted a playback server for non-game days, so that we can have an internal channel that’s constantly playing content, whether it’s content that we push from our Avid [editing systems] to our Abekas or content that we record on our Abekas.”

Prior to purchasing the Mira server, AmericanAirlines Arena did not have a playback server that would enable the production team to easily build a playlist and change it on a daily basis.

“We didn’t have a server on the network that we could push content to,” Filomia says. “Prior to this, we were creating a DVD or an XDCAM disc and using it on a loop function. Having the ability to push to a server is much more efficient and helps us with our workflow.”

Filomia and his team produce a great deal of digital content that runs on Sun Sports regionally, NBA TV nationally, and worldwide. On non-game days, the Abekas is used to play back all of that content to fill the HEATV in-house channel, which promotes events internally for the team in addition to showcasing the work of the production team.

He also uses the Mira server as a backup for the arena’s replay system.

“We are currently using a six-channel box from EVS and Dixon Sports to control the EVS,” he says. “In a pinch, should anything happen to our EVS box, the Mira serves as a pretty nice backup and gives us that flexibility, should we need it.”

With four channels of record or playback, 60 hours of storage, and an exceptional support team, Filomia says, the Mira box has been a game changer for his productions.

“It is just a great fit,” he says. “I would recommend this box to any university or arena or stadium that is looking for a quick, easy, cost-effective replay system. The Mira can not only handle your replay, but, with the right controller, it will also allow you to export your clips through a file-transfer mode. I see that as a big benefit, as opposed to the old-fashioned way of creating a melt reel through a linear output.”

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