XOS HD Instant Replay Skates Into College Hockey Rinks

HD instant replay has become ubiquitous among major college football conferences over the past half decade and has begun to spread to second- and third-tier conferences. However, football remains the lone sport that deploys HD replay on a mass scale, while sports like basketball and hockey continue to rely primarily on standard-definition systems.

XOS Digital, which provides HD Replay for SEC, Big 12, WAC, and Conference USA football, is looking to go beyond the football field and into college arenas. Last week, the company announced an XOS HD Replay system formatted specifically for hockey and, in March, unveiled a system designed for basketball.

“The feedback we have received from the market regarding our HD Replay products for basketball and football has been phenomenal,” says CEO Chris McCleary. “The XOS HD Replay system for hockey was designed specifically for the hockey market, with the capability to meet the replay needs among all conferences at a very affordable price.”

From the Field to the Rink
The hockey and basketball systems are extremely similar with the exception of a few sport-specific features and camera positions. Both the hockey and basketball software-based systems use the same the same core technology found within the XOS HD Replay system for football, which was used for 18 bowl games last season: the major conferences and two BCS matches.

How It Works
The XOS HD Replay system for hockey deploys a minimum of two HD IP cameras, which allow plays to be reviewed in HD from directly above both goals. A video stream of the shot clock provided by a dedicated camera is synchronized with the feeds and inserted into the feed on the officials’ monitor. In addition to the shot-clock feed, the system can record up to five channels of video, allowing TV, in-house production, coaches’ cameras, or streaming feeds to be ingested.

The replay technician tags and marks plays according to the type of foul or violation and which official made the call. Also tagged are shots on goal, fights, and significant events. The replay technician operates the system on a laptop from a high-level replay booth, and a dedicated officials’ monitor is located in the penalty box for on-ice reviews.  The system can be used for both men’s and women’s home hockey games played in the same or separate facilities.

Hockey: A Target Market
XOS’s SD replay system is currently used by the CCHA and WCHA, along with selected schools in the ECAC and Hockey East: Yale, Colgate University, Boston College, Boston University, and Merrimack College. The HD version is now available directly to conferences and to individual schools in the collegiate market.

“It is too early to tell [whether major conferences will adopt the system in time for next hockey season], but interest is good among our current partners,” says Bryan Bedford, director of sales and business development. “Hockey is a very strategic market for XOS Digital. We have had long-standing partners in professional, college, and junior hockey for a number of years and are committed to innovation and cutting-edge technology for coaches, officials, and fans.”

XOS Review
The XOS HD Replay system for hockey is compatible with XOS Review, Web-based software for managing, grading, training, and scheduling conference officials. A subscription to XOS Review comes standard with the purchase of the hockey replay system.

Accessible from any online computer, XOS Review enables conference administrators to view full game reports and video associated with each marked play in order to grade officials. Reports can be broken down or generated by team, official, review type, violation, and foul. Plays marked for review in the XOS HD Replay system are automatically exported to XOS Review following the game’s conclusion. All plays marked as a “critical play” are automatically and immediately exported into XOS Review, which then sends an e-mail to the director of officials with a link to the video clip for review in real time via computer or smartphone.

“Together,” McCleary says, “XOS HD Replay and XOS Review provide workflow efficiency and clear advantages to the schools, conferences, and officials.”

XOS is now demonstrating HD Replay and Review for hockey as well as its Thunder Hockey HD editing system at the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) convention in Naples, FL, April 27-30. XOS is in Suite 93 of the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club throughout the convention.

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