Quidich Innovates Camera Solutions for Live Sports Broadcasts With AJA FS-HDR
As global audiences are inundated with more content options than ever before, Quidich’s seasoned team of broadcast technology specialists are helping clients cut through the noise and retain viewers. A leading Indian broadcast technology provider, Quidich specializes in innovative camera systems to enhance storytelling and capture never-before-seen angles for live sporting events, film, and television. Since its inception, the company has developed integrated services that enhance the audience viewing experience through use of drones, buggies, AR graphics, and live player tracking solutions.
Quidich Chief Operating Officer Neil Gokhale shared, “Our clientele spans sports and entertainment, including leagues for cricket, football, basketball, and kabaddi – one of the fastest growing sports in India – as well as major Bollywood film studios for feature films released on cinema screens and OTT platforms. Our foray into the broadcast market was through cricket, and we’ve worked with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the Indian Premier League (IPL) and domestic tournaments, and with the International Cricket Council (ICC) and global leagues across Sri Lanka, the Caribbean, and other regions.”
Quidich’s founders recognized a unique opportunity to engage casual cricket fans with the integration of more dynamic camera solutions to add new perspectives and different dimensions to storytelling for viewers during live events. Whereas historically traditional sports broadcasts have featured stationary cameras positioned around the field, the Quidich team first innovated with the BuggyQam remote controlled vehicle, offering fans unique shots, including low angles, during cricket matches. Quidich was also the first company in the world to develop a live AR tracking solution on a wireless moving camera, with the Spatio system for drones. To provide fans with an even wider perspective on gameplay, they further developed the Quidich Tracker (QT), a proprietary real-time optical tracker to display player positioning during live matches.
To enhance the audience viewing experience, Quidich uses a wide range of AJA equipment, including the FS-HDR real-time universal converter and frame synchronizer. An essential color correction and HDR/SDR transform solution, FS-HDR allows Quidich to match the BuggyQam camera output with all broadcast system cameras for consistency. BuggyQam houses a single sensor camera, whereas other cameras used throughout the production chain include three CCDs with separate sensors for receiving filtered red, green, and blue colors. FS-HDR enables the team to take the different camera profile raw formats and color match to the output cameras.
Neil stated, “FS-HDR is a well-designed, versatile solution, which we’ve been able to take advantage of for real-time color transforms, ingesting multiple feeds in multi-channel mode, and many other use cases. Setting up color profiles prior to games helps us accommodate color temperature and lighting changes with the click of a button, which would take too much time to manually adjust during live broadcasts. The SFP slots are also quite helpful, as they eliminate the need for additional converters when routing BuggyQam feeds to the broadcast control room; we’re able to ingest fiber directly through FS-HDR’s SFP slot and output as BNC, saving us money from requiring additional devices for BNC/fiber and fiber/BNC transforms. Being able to run up/down/cross conversion on a single device simplifies our workflow, and FS-HDR includes a million helpful features in addition to this that you only realize once you start using it.”
When choosing a hardware provider, reliable equipment that performs to specifications is key for live broadcasts. Neil concluded, “There is a lot of pressure when you’re working on an international flagship event like the T20 Men’s Cricket World Cup, which only occurs once every two years. When all eyes are on us, I know I can rely on AJA gear. In the rare case that something does go wrong, AJA offers quality support so that we’re always able to pull off a match successfully.”