IBC Q&A: Mike Fredriksen, RT Software
In a nutshell, what has been the big story of the past 12 months for RT Software in sports broadcast?
There’s actually two big stories from our perspective. One is the maturing of our tOG-Sports graphics analysis system into a more flexible, capable, multipurpose system that integrates seamlessly into production environments, be that in the truck or at the studio. Increasingly, our customers need these systems to deliver not just the “must-have” analysis enhancements — such as lines, circles, and magnifiers — but also a real wow factor, such as our AR [augmented-reality] graphics playing out live either on the playing surface at the venue or on the floor as part of the studio show. Flexibility is key — be it simply playing out an analysis clip, offering touchscreen or tablet control, or going all the way to an engaging multicamera augmented-reality experience. Our tOG-Sports system is going from strength to strength in this market.
The second is the interest in high-quality, “always-on” virtual advertising in the stadiums during the game. Expect a big announcement from us at IBC on this.
Is there one recent project that, above all, exemplifies the possibilities of 3D graphics in sports broadcast? If so, what is it?
Unfortunately, right now, we are under NDA on the project I’d like to talk about, but come and see us at IBC, and we should be free to talk then. But one I can mention is the centralisation of a handful of our tOG-Sports systems at a major broadcaster in the UK, allowing assets to be used across multiple studios and multiple sports/shows. Come to the booth, and we will show you how this can be quickly achieved for any broadcaster.
What can you reveal of RT Software’s plans for IBC2013, and what is next for the company?
As always at IBC, we will feature plenty of live demos. This year, it will include a virtual studio, stunning new AR sports graphics, our traditional 3D graphics products for overlays, our new easy-to-use 2D editor, and, of course, the new features in our tOG-Sports family of products. In particular, on the sports side, our new video-based camera and object tracking, virtualisation of game play, and a whole host of new analysis graphics for existing and new sports should be of significant interest.
The integrations with our partners will feature heavily, and, for sports, this includes EVS and Grass Valley on the video side, along with Opta and other providers for data, an increasingly crucial part of graphics.