When we began our broadcast program at Cleveland High School (Tennessee), we wanted to provide our students with the equipment and tools that the professionals use, but using a high school budget.
From cameras to switchers to graphics, there are many options that emulate the professional industry at a much cheaper price point. When we reached the time to add replay, I could not find a solution that met our needs, worked like a professional system, and fit within our budget. Some systems require, high end, stand-alone units. Others are so simplistic, that a student’s knowledge will not transfer to higher education or the professional environment. When we pieced together all of the components we wanted, the price point was far beyond our reach.
While searching for options we came across a company, Future Sports Media, who had a replay program, LiveReplayer, that could run on a MacBook Pro. Since we are an all Mac environment, finding something that could integrate into our existing workflow, was exciting all by itself. We spent some time watching their tutorial videos, and it seemed a little too good to be true. After downloading the trial, the program in fact works exactly as advertised.
LiveReplayer, when implemented into our regular sports productions, provides a beautiful user interface alongside unmatched adaptability and overall quality. The ability to set in and out points and edit clips in real time allows the user to create highlights and playlists instantly.
Replay playback utilizes the built-in HDMI connection on the laptop or desktop. The operator can play them back without any drop in quality, even while using “Slow Motion”.
LiveReplayer not only provides an easy-to-use interface, but on-board graphics and complete personalization, allowing you to switch between a possible five inputs of live feeds, pre- composed content, and even highlights from the same event. One of the features that blew us away was the ability to upload a clip straight to social media in a matter of seconds after the event was captured. So, if we recorded a touchdown, we could immediately post it to our Twitter page and share with our online fans. Sharing of clips to social media is part of the add- on service called "Live clips" which also contains functions for instant clip sharing to web sites and smartphone apps, etc. Our high school production team picked up the basics of the program in a matter of minutes and reported they truly enjoyed the experience. We now have students asking if they can be the replay operator.
Over the first few weeks that we adopted this program we were able to massively improve our quality of production in all events (Soccer, Volleyball, Football, and Basketball). The plug-and- play design has allowed us to set up replay in about two minutes so we can focus on our broadcast, rather than tweaking the program every few minutes like others we have used in the past. However simple to use, this product could easily be used for any type of professional production. Throughout the time we used LiveReplayer, Future Sports Media has implemented many updates, and constant support. Access to the very latest release of the software is always included, i.e. there is no extra charge even for major upgrades.
There are several pricing options and some specifically designed for educational institutions. Contact, Future Sports Media for exact cost and options. Overall, LiveReplayer has stepped up our quality immensely. Our viewers began making comments about our addition of replay as soon as we started to use it. Even former students were impressed with how much more professional our productions look. With a company like Future Sports Media, the future options to this program and others are endless. We cannot wait to see what they do next to further enhance the production quality of our broadcasts.
Jon Souders is the Director of Digital Media Production at Cleveland High School in Tennessee. During his ten years at CHS, Souders has developed the program from small beginnings to an award-winning production with more than 250 students involved each year. The program has received “Best Overall School Broadcast Program” from the NFHS Network and most recently, “Best Daily Live Newscast” from the Student Television Network. He has worked in live production for over 20 years.