Slightly Offtopic: Home Game Broadcast / Production Quality Questions

CarNer0

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(Sorry to post a kind of unrelated topic in the MBB forum, but the other forums are a bit dead so I thought it would get more eyeballs here...)

Is there anyone here with some inside knowledge on the production aspects of our home-cooked ESPN+ broadcast? I don't watch a lot of other schools' productions, but ours leaves a bit to be desired and I'm just curious why. It's been literally years of this. They've fixed some extremely glaring mistakes over the years but it feels like a game of whack-a-mole with other stuff popping up.

Last night, for instance:
  • Every replay, if there was one, seemed to play at ~10fps. It was like watching stop motion basketball.
  • There were (as always) several random smash cuts to the under-basket cameras at inappropriate times showing stuff like the player's shoes or, a favorite of mine from last night, a dramatic crash zoom of the opposite basket after we scored. I will say that these shots do give me a hearty laugh, which was necessary at times during the game last night, but overall I'd rather not hear Yakety sax in my head while I'm watching VCU basketball lol.
These issues are in addition to other quality-related issues with the broadcast:
  • It seems like we are using outdated equipment, which I understand, we don't have a ton of money to upgrade..I also don't know how much ESPN+ factors into the resolution of the broadcast, so I won't go too crazy about that. For some reason though, the sideline camera they use for tighter shots almost seems to have an ND filter or something on it though.. it's maybe 2 stops underexposed and idk why. The difference in exposure is jarring from one shot to the next and it looks muddy.
  • The audio is improved from years past (no more ridiculous feedback or buzzing), but the mix is way off. Why are they playing the commentary audio from the rear audio channel and not the center? It's weird as heck. Ed Nixon is whispering in my ear.
I'm sure there's other stuff I'm forgetting at the moment. Do we need to start a gofundme for our crew? Anyone have any ideas? No shade, just honestly curious...
 

AlienAiden

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I watched the replay and I thought that it was head and shoulders above the last couple of seasons. Audio is great and the crowd mix is nearly perfect.

The cuts and replays are done by the director. All ESPN+ games are produced by the host school. Some are better than others. I would need to watch some others but I thought the replay last night was pretty good.
 
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Maybe because of lack of funding. I noted in the in-game thread that one of the commercials was to encourage everyone to participate in the 2020 census. I mean if that's the best ad a sponsor has to run, the sponsor(s) we have are not spending a lot of cash on advertising.
 

RamStrut

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This happens with other local broadcasts too even some of the bigger schools when they aren’t on national tv. There’s a lot to be desired and it takes a bunch more $$$ to really improve it but at least we can watch pretty much every single game nowadays so I don’t criticize it too much.
 

Gopher+RamFan

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I watched the replay and I thought that it was head and shoulders above the last couple of seasons. Audio is great and the crowd mix is nearly perfect.

The cuts and replays are done by the director. All ESPN+ games are produced by the host school. Some are better than others. I would need to watch some others but I thought the replay last night was pretty good.
Audio is much better. I can handle the occasional odd replays/cuts, the audio of the past couple of years made it near unwatchable with the sound on.
 

Wolfpack Ram

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The TV coverage yesterday was acceptable. The game play was the problem. Even the TV commentators couldn't dress up that pig with lipstick.
 

mrgeode

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(Sorry to post a kind of unrelated topic in the MBB forum, but the other forums are a bit dead so I thought it would get more eyeballs here...)

Is there anyone here with some inside knowledge on the production aspects of our home-cooked ESPN+ broadcast? I don't watch a lot of other schools' productions, but ours leaves a bit to be desired and I'm just curious why. It's been literally years of this. They've fixed some extremely glaring mistakes over the years but it feels like a game of whack-a-mole with other stuff popping up.

Last night, for instance:
  • Every replay, if there was one, seemed to play at ~10fps. It was like watching stop motion basketball.
  • There were (as always) several random smash cuts to the under-basket cameras at inappropriate times showing stuff like the player's shoes or, a favorite of mine from last night, a dramatic crash zoom of the opposite basket after we scored. I will say that these shots do give me a hearty laugh, which was necessary at times during the game last night, but overall I'd rather not hear Yakety sax in my head while I'm watching VCU basketball lol.
These issues are in addition to other quality-related issues with the broadcast:
  • It seems like we are using outdated equipment, which I understand, we don't have a ton of money to upgrade..I also don't know how much ESPN+ factors into the resolution of the broadcast, so I won't go too crazy about that. For some reason though, the sideline camera they use for tighter shots almost seems to have an ND filter or something on it though.. it's maybe 2 stops underexposed and idk why. The difference in exposure is jarring from one shot to the next and it looks muddy.
  • The audio is improved from years past (no more ridiculous feedback or buzzing), but the mix is way off. Why are they playing the commentary audio from the rear audio channel and not the center? It's weird as heck. Ed Nixon is whispering in my ear.
I'm sure there's other stuff I'm forgetting at the moment. Do we need to start a gofundme for our crew? Anyone have any ideas? No shade, just honestly curious...
Ed Nixon is whispering in my ear, lolol
 

AlienAiden

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One thing that does bother me about the broadcast is that they choose not to show the broadcast on the big screen. I know for a fact that it can be done. It is a great perk for the fans to see the game and replays on the big screen. I went to a Maryland football game recently and it is awesome to have that. VCU chooses to go with a concourse cam and that is it. They really need to put the broadcast up on the center court screen. I know it has been asked and told no.

Also, there are issues with headsets and other things that hamper the game day video guys. Nothing gets fixed. Devil is in the details and listening to your workers. The reason you see weird shots is because the camera guys cannot communicate or hear the director.
 
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I think part of the reason for weird camera angles is that the cameras at center court aren't high enough to get an unobstructed view when fans put their hands or foam fingers in the air. For example, when we shoot free throws and everyone raises their hands, they usually cut to a corner of the court angle.
 
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One thing that does bother me about the broadcast is that they choose not to show the broadcast on the big screen. I know for a fact that it can be done. It is a great perk for the fans to see the game and replays on the big screen. I went to a Maryland football game recently and it is awesome to have that. VCU chooses to go with a concourse cam and that is it. They really need to put the broadcast up on the center court screen. I know it has been asked and told no.

Also, there are issues with headsets and other things that hamper the game day video guys. Nothing gets fixed. Devil is in the details and listening to your workers. The reason you see weird shots is because the camera guys cannot communicate or hear the director.
It’s inexcusable for the broadcast quality to be so poor. It is a reflection of our school and our athletic department. I watch the UR broadcasts (I’m not a spider sympathizer) and just wish ours was that good. As a season ticket holder/donor I wish some of the funds would go to improving this part of our program. It would pay dividends if the folks in the AD’s office “got it”.
 

AlienAiden

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It’s inexcusable for the broadcast quality to be so poor. It is a reflection of our school and our athletic department. I watch the UR broadcasts (I’m not a spider sympathizer) and just wish ours was that good. As a season ticket holder/donor I wish some of the funds would go to improving this part of our program. It would pay dividends if the folks in the AD’s office “got it”.
It has to do with equipment. I know broadcast equipment is expensive but they need to spend some money on it.
 

AlienAiden

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Feels like the AD is saying, “hey, at least the game is on TV.” Seems like they think adequate is good enough. Agree with @AlienAiden. Details do matter.
Overall, it is better than the last two seasons but there are issues. If a floor camera operator cannot communicate or hear the director how do they know when their shot is up? There are headphone issues. Cords have shorts in them. They moved the riser so the concourse cameras are too low so it blocks the view when fans stand or lift their arms. I could go on. They need a production meeting with the crew to discuss issues. I know way back when Ram Replay was a thing I quit doing it due to how shoddy the equipment was and my comments were never addressed. Not sure it is Ed either. It is usually the person in charge of the production just brushing things off. Some of the students are rough with the equipment which is used for other sports. Anyway, I could go on. It appears as if they did fix the audio issue though.

Oh and I know for a fact that last game someone asked about putting the broadcast on the screen so the crowd could see the game as it happens with replays, the camera people could hear the game broadcast etc. It was met with a no let's just use the concourse camera for the big screen. I think that is ridiculous. The broadcast should be on the center court screen.
 
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Wolfpack Ram

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It’s inexcusable for the broadcast quality to be so poor. It is a reflection of our school and our athletic department. I watch the UR broadcasts (I’m not a spider sympathizer) and just wish ours was that good. As a season ticket holder/donor I wish some of the funds would go to improving this part of our program. It would pay dividends if the folks in the AD’s office “got it”.

fur has Bob Black, so I couldn't tell you how good or bad their audio is. 🤣
 
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