Virtual placement technology has become one of the more recognizable and popular elements of live sports broadcasts. Whether it’s a virtual first down line, a sponsor logo placed alongside the field or in the stands, a virtual offsides line, or another enhancement to the viewing experience, this technology plays a central role in modern sports production.
Flexible options for deployment are making virtual placement more accessible than ever. Broadcasters and production teams are finding that whether they’re interested in a large-scale remote production model, a locally staffed single-game setup, or something in between, there is a model and solution to meet their needs.
Going All-In on REMI
The remote integration (REMI) model of production, in which most elements of the workflow are centralized at the main studio or network operations center (NOC), has been gaining in popularity over the years, and the pandemic accelerated that trend.
Today, broadcasters and production companies worldwide are using REMI workflows and Chyron’s Virtual Placement technology to display storytelling elements, team branding, sponsor logos, and more within live broadcasts without a significant complement of operators and equipment on site. The team working remotely can take control, seamlessly placing virtual elements within a live video.
In reducing travel and lodging expenses, freeing up space in the production truck, and taking better advantage of specialized gear and technical talent, these Virtual Placement users gain all the technical and efficiency benefits of today’s REMI workflows, as well as the powerful revenue-generation opportunities afforded by virtual advertising and sponsored graphical elements.
When it’s necessary to ramp up quickly for a single high-profile event or tournament, Virtual Placement users can call on Chyron’s sister-brand HEGO to manage the entire workflow. Supplying trained technicians and producers who can work on-site or remotely, along with the latest Chyron graphics solutions, HEGO makes it possible to deploy Virtual Placement without the time and expense typically required to bring a new internal system and technical operations team up to speed.
Keeping It Local, But Going Global
While the REMI workflow has understandable appeal, particularly when distancing and other constraints are in play, some Virtual Placement users choose to send an operator and Chyron box to each arena for every match of interest. Rather than limit users’ options, this approach gives them the freedom to add virtual elements to any game, anywhere.
Because the Chyron system sets up more quickly than any other product on the market and because operator training can be completed in a matter of hours, it’s possible — even easy — to hire locally and establish a Virtual Placement operator and solution at any stadium or arena.
Virtual Placement allows an on-site operator to quickly calibrate and implement optical tracking without the need for specialized camera encoder hardware. With level-two support from Chyron technical services, even freshly trained operators can start inserting virtual advertisements in no time. Integrated graphics tools including an automatic chroma keyer help to ensure that graphics remain sharp and clear even in changing or inconsistent lighting conditions.
HEGO is preparing to take this workflow to the next level with its new SOLO service. Supplying world-class server-based virtual advertising for over a decade, SOLO evolves HEGO’s virtual advertising solution into a robust portable, military-grade flypack built for tough deployment. The SOLO operator simply connects a cable into the back of the flypack and fires up a local Virtual Placement system. With 2-expansion slots, this slim, platform-agnostic system can fit inside an operator’s airplane compartment, or be shipped in advance to be up and running even more quickly.
Winning Either Way
Virtual Placement offers unique capabilities in a REMI workflow or any truly mobile solution. Nor can they handle as many camera inputs, offer so many placement options, or achieve the same degree of accuracy. Virtual Placement wins across numerous technical considerations, but the flexibility that users have in deploying the system may be the greatest benefit.
Chyron has the technology, expertise, and partners to accommodate the smallest local deployment, to support a user’s first foray into REMI, or to help design and implement large-scale remote production, either in the user’s NOC or as a managed service. Even purchase options are flexible! Some users go for the up-front investment, while others subscribe to Virtual Placement as a service or pay by the game. This freedom of choice not only makes it easier to begin using this powerful technology but also provides a variety of options for growth or future scaling of the system.
With creative services, expert trainers, responsive technical support, expert production staff, and amazing technology, Chyron and HEGO are prepared to help you move into the digital advertising era.
To learn more about how Virtual Placement can benefit your operations and your business, check out our earlier Digital Trends blog or get in touch with our sales team.
Curious about the new SOLO flypack from HEGO and where it can take you? Visit HEGO.tv to get the latest news.