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17/04/2007

Red Bee Media Unlocks The Tactics of Football’s Top Teams

US broadcasters now have a new tool to help them bring the excitement and drama of American football to the fans.
Red Bee Media’s new module for their award-winning Piero 3D graphics technology is optimised for American football and works in all HD formats.
Piero is the first technology of its kind that enables better analysis of sports games. It enables viewers to see 'play' from angles that are not captured by cameras. It is already being used by broadcasters around the world in their coverage of soccer and rugby and was used extensively during the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.
Red Bee Media initially developed Piero with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for use by BBC Sport. Piero has now been developed further by Red Bee Media and has been sold to ITV, as well as Sky Italia, Hong Kong Cable, TV Globo in Brazil, ITI Neovision in Poland and Digiturk in Turkey.
Andy Townsend, Red Bee Media’s Design System Manager, said: “Broadcasters have been urging us to develop a version of Piero for American football. So we did and it makes a fantastic storytelling device. There are lots of breaks in the game that cry out for visual displays of tactics and analysis. And without a dependency on camera sensors, it’s easy and cost effective to deploy.”
Piero is a superior 3D telestrator which produces 'tied-to-field' graphics. These can be used to illustrate ‘plays’ in sports games; bringing the subtleties and nuances of the tactics to life. Piero is the only technology of its kind with a seamless transition between original footage and a virtual stadium. Both offensive and defensive plays can be seen from different angles in animated sequences - even if the action has not been captured at this angle.
To form an inclusive graphics package, Piero also features the ability to track players across the field of play and place pointers, badges and scores on the field in 'live' video. It can also be used to place virtual advertising in real footage or virtual stadiums. All the system functionality is implemented in a single PC, which makes Piero incredibly cost-effective.
Piero is operated through an easy-to-use touch-screen interface, which programme presenters or play by play announcers can operate on-air. It allows them to draw directly on the field and switch between real and virtual views at the click of a button. The drawn graphics remain 'tied-to-field' in moving camera footage.
At the International Broadcasters’ Convention (IBC) last September Piero was awarded a prestigious IBC Innovation Award for Innovative Application of Technology in Content Creation. It also received a Cable and Satellite Product of the Year Award for Best Outside Broadcast Technology or Service.
Andy continues: “Piero is continuously being developed and enhanced. It is already HD compatible at both 1080i and 720p formats and we are currently adapting it for tennis. Piero can also be used to repurpose content for cell phones, zooming in on play and illustrating new stories that aren’t told in the TV coverage.”
(SP)
VMI.TV Ltd

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