Miami Heat Video Department Shifts Into Finals Mode
The Miami Heat video-production department is once again in Finals mode, and, for Ed Filomia, senior director of broadcast services for the Heat, it’s another opportunity to get creative for another round and, hopefully, help spur the Heat to a third consecutive championship. Helping achieve that goal are a NewTek Tricaster, a 48-TB Avid ISIS storage system with Interplay, six Media Composer systems, and 17 editing stations.
“Every year, it gets pushed to the limit as to how much more we can do and get out of the crowd,” says Filomia. “When the playoffs start, we launch a new look based on the ‘White Hot’ concept and then a bunch of subsidiary launches like ‘Larry Loves Miami,’ where we take the trophy and use it in vignettes.”
Along with keeping the crowd in the arena pumped is the need to connect with fans around the world via pre- and post-game shows streamed via the Heat Website.
“We purchased a Tricaster two years ago, and we produce a studio show from our studio on the east side of the arena,” says Filomia. “It’s a slimmed-down version of what we do during the regular season, and we send two crew members and myself, plus talent, to cover the road aspect [of the playoffs].”
On the road, the production team makes use of a Teradek Cubelet encoder to transport camera signals over the open Internet to the Tricaster in Miami (Level 3 also provides transport).
“It’s an HD-SDI signal that is encoded to MPEG-4 using a 3- or 4-Mbps Internet connection,” Filomia points out.
Peaks for Internet audiences in the past two years have eclipsed 160,000 users, and the team has a big following in China, served by two Mandarin-speaking producers who translate content for viewers (videos can be seen at www.nba.com/heat.com/china). A Spanish-speaking crew is also on board to serve South American and Latin American viewers.
One new tool for the Heat production team is the Glookast Media Retriever and a 24-TB MatrixStore node that provides nearly 60 TB of nearline storage. They are tied into the Avid ISIS and allow low-resolution proxies to be sent from the MatrixStore to the Avid system as well as linking the hi-res and lo-res material.
“The demands on our production platform to provide incredibly fast turnaround on desired clips meant we needed a solution that would put our content at our fingertips with the minimum of disruption,” Filomia adds. “We have more than one workflow, and any new platform needs to be able to grow in both capacity and workflows.”
In addition to the public-facing videos are the internal motivational videos that see head coach Erik Spolestra play the role of executive producer.
“He’s the one who calls for the content and has an idea in his mind, and then the director and media-production department will pull it off in five or six hours,” says Filomia. “It’s part of our DNA.”
It’s also part of the Heat’s DNA. He notes that the franchise, from Heat President Pat Riley on down, believes in the power of video for fans and players alike.
“Things ramp up a little more during the playoffs, and we are blessed that this is the norm,” he adds. “We don’t get extended vacations around here, but that’s okay.”