DPG Media scores with RT Software’s Tactic Pro for FIFA World Cup coverage
DPG Media’s VTM channels recently decided to upgrade its on-air football analysis with Tactic Pro from RT Software.
Bruno van Hileghem, multifunctional engineer at DPG, explained: “We knew technology had moved on since we last selected a product to analyse the football matches we broadcast, but we were impressed with what Tactic could offer us. There were some really great AI features which we knew would save time for our operators. Being able to automatically track the players is incredibly powerful. It saves a lot of time for us and is more accurate than tracking manually. The automatic pitch calibration is also a great feature. It’s another example where both speed and accuracy is improved for us because it makes sure our graphics are shown with the correct perspective. Tactic Pro makes our operators’ job much simpler.”
DPG was also keen to find other workflow efficiencies. Luke Harrison, RT Software product manager, was at IBC2022 when some of van Hileghem’s colleagues visited before finalising their purchase decision. Discussion here centred around EVS integration.
“Although we already had an EVS integration, we were working on some improvements. After talking to DPG it was clear that our next release with version 6.1 would be a great benefit to them. So, although it was not quite ready when we spoke to DPG, we worked hard to get the software to them as soon as possible. This means DPG are the first to use Tactic Pro’s new EVS improvements.”
This latest EVS integration lets the Tactic operator work in parallel with the EVS operator so they can share clips but without the EVS operator losing any of their valuable server ports. This lets the EVS operator carry on working while the Tactic operator creates their analysis sequence, before posting it back to the EVS for playout.
RT Software provided Tactic Pro as a single turnkey solution that included the PC and GPU hardware. Van Hileghem said: “The setup was actually very easy, and if I had any questions RT Software’s support was really helpful, so there were no problems at all.”
Steve Hart, development director at is RT Software, added: “This project used the Nvidia RTX A4000 GPU. We have been working with Nvidia for over 20 years, and the combination of AI, the Cuda software stack, and graphic developments that we incorporate within Tactic are only possible thanks to the advances made by Nvidia. We have plans to build more advanced functionality into the product as Nvidia GPU capabilities and performance continue to improve.”
When it came to operating, the users adapted to the new software very quickly. Operation itself is managed as a remote production in partnership with NEP based in a different building. Some of the operators were new to the role, so it was important the system was intuitive to learn.
Harrison added: “We’ve put lots of effort into our online User Tip videos, which are a great way to help operators to learn at their own pace whenever they have the time. Everyone also has access to our Tacticians user group to allow the sharing of tips and tricks. Tactics are really powerful so it’s great that we can offer an environment for operators to support each other.”
Overall van Hileghem has been pleased with the results. “DPG is a growing business with many channels and new partnerships,” he said. “You can never tell what the future holds, but Tactic Pro has been a great success, so we would definitely consider it for any future expansion we are asked to deliver for the business.”