NAB 2022: Hawk-Eye Innovations Officially Enters Replay Market
Hawk-Eye Innovations is officially getting into the replay device and service market with the launch of Hawk-Eye Replay. Matt Zajicek, Hawk-Eye Innovations, senior product director, says a key differentiator from other systems in the market is the ability to leverage Hawk-Eye’s other innovations. NAB attendees can check it out at the Sony booth C10901.“Hawkeye has had success in the AR and optical tracking and in our data platform so there’s tons of world class and cool technology that we can apply to broadcast media workflows,” says Zajicek. “And various broadcasters used Hawk-Eye on things like the NFL with remote access and operators working from home.”
“We are able to use workstations even over the public Internet so operators can work centralized or in a remote production hub or, if required, they can actually work from their house with little sacrifice and performance there. We’ve had really good feedback from the operators saying this is quite a game changer as we can also leverage the cloud.”
Data integration, says Zajicek, can also drive new workflow enhancements as Hawk-Eye has close relationships with a number of sports data providers due to its work on VAR and other systems.
“As we add features on the front end software we can use data to perhaps automate or, or streamline workflows, starting with a lot of the kind of monotonous things that media operators are doing,” he adds. Things like identifying the start or end of a play, deliver clips automatically to digital platforms, or eliminating manual tagging of clips are just the starting point for ways data can change content creation.
“Every Shot, Every Hole is a good example as we are taking in data feeds in from the PGA and operators have a data point on the side of the UI where they can just click a player’s face and they’re taken right to the start of a replay.”
In terms of processing units, those can be stacked in a truck or at a remote location that can be on a 10 Gbps network to allow for simultaneous streams to be shared. And the flexibility of the nodes allows them to be reconfigured for specific needs.
“We have flexible nodes that all live on the same network and allow operators to utilize media instantaneously from any other workstation,” adds Zajicek.
Instant replay, like switching audio or video for a show, is a task that requires a comfortable and intuitive user interface and Zajicek Hawk-Eye has worked hard to create a UI that is as accessible as possible.
“Whether the operator is experienced and has used similar systems for ages or a brand new operator fresh out of school there are common workflows that they can learn themselves while advanced workflows are made to also be completely accessible and easy to use,” he explains.
Key, he says is allowing for any module on the UI to be resized, turned off, turned on, or even split over dual monitors.
“For an NFL game you may want all the tools so you can do a million things while for Esports you might want to just have clips in a simple multiviewer,” he explains. “We made it so the user can tailor the application to the sport and production.”
Also look for the ability to use a Sony PlayStation controller to fire up replays.
“We have all sorts of operators from all walks of life and a lot of the younger operators feel more at home using controllers like that,” says Zajicek. “We’ve been able to map all the core functionality to the controller and let the operator pick their poison.”
Audio is also given some enhancements with a module that can allow for audio cross mapping and allow for audio feeds to go anywhere needed. “That was a huge thing for golf and something we’ve built on for other sports as well,” he adds.
The efforts for the PGA also resulted in the team figuring out how to tie into AWS for cloud-based replay operations.
“We’re approaching the cloud on a case-by-case basis and we’re now integrated into AWS which has been quite a seamless integration to get up and running in AWS,” says Zajicek. “And we’re definitely open to working with other providers in the future.”
David Rosen, VP Cloud Applications and Solutions, Sony Electronics, says that integration with the Sony Ci platform is also opening up new ways for content creators to make content available to a much wider audience instantaneously.
“Live streams or clips can be pushed up in Ci and made available to different rights holders or stakeholders automatically based on the metadata,” says Rosen. “And then that can also become an archive for those streams and those files to support future productions or social-media production.”
With a legacy in augmented reality, VAR, and optical tracking Zajicek believes Hawk-Eye can offer a compelling and forward-thinking replay tool which is above and beyond other offerings.
“A lot of those tools are going to be eventually integrated into this replay tool, and we think the replay interface is more intuitive and has a much shorter learning curve than competitive systems,” he adds. “And we’ve proven with Every Shot Live that we can do these large-scale sports production workflows in the cloud.”
A long history in managed services around things like VAR, data and tracking also has the team comfortable with instant replay as a managed service.
“We have that structure and that whole model ready to go,” says Zajicek. “We’re ready to offer different cost models and different approaches from other vendors.”