Tag Archives: eSports

  • -

Playing to Win – eSports Production with Real-Time Data-Driven Graphics

Tags : 

Published in Digital Media World July 2019

eSports events are becoming more sophisticated in terms of both the in-venue experience and the broadcast or streaming presentation. Tournament organisers are raising their game in production value and editorial enhancements, using high quality production talent and equipment.

According to Vern Freedlander, Strategic Partnerships at Bannister Lake, these developments are a response to the growing popularity of eSports around the world. Bannister Lake, Canadian software developers for the broadcast and digital signage industries, has gained a lot of experience in recent years serving the real-time data and visualisation needs of eSports productions.

Vern said, “Spectacular venues such as Red Bull’s Hanger 7 in Salzburg, Germany’s Nurburgring motorsports track, and Shanghai’s Mercedes Benz arena are hosting eSports tournaments. Events not only sell out major arenas, but millions of fans also watch on Twitch and YouTube to see competitors battle it out for serious cash prize pools.

“On the surface, eSports production resembles other sports broadcasts – mobile trucks, multiple cameras on jibs, slick video clips, impressive sets and lighting. However, what distinguishes eSports is the innovative use of graphics and the real-time data that populates the graphics. Esports tournaments are data-intensive, and new techniques to organise and display data are needed not only to make the events more visually compelling, but also to communicate fast-moving, complex information to fans.”

The Fan Experience

Conveying and enhancing the excitement of eSports at the arena and for fans watching on their devices requires graphics that add important information about the players and teams and takes advantage of the real-time aspect of these fast-paced games. “Unlike conventional sports coverage that follows the action of a single game with two teams competing, an eSports event will involve several games played over a two- or three-day period, while multiple teams compete simultaneously,” said Vern.

Bannister Lake’s Chameleon data aggregation and management system ingests multiple real-time data feeds and allows producers to organise, edit and moderate data content, and then populate graphics with customised data for display.

More than XML or RSS feeds, producers can simultaneously use Chameleon to manage and display diverse sets of editorial content that enhance the fan experience. Virtually any data source can be incorporated into the production. For example, topical event news generated by the tournament’s editorial teams, such as player profiles, standings, game schedules, and outstanding achievements, can be ingested through Google Sheets. This content may populate an L-Bar surrounding the game as a way to complement the action.

Moderated social media content can be included to create an interactive fan experience. Third-party feeds such as eSports industry news, weather, and events calendars can also be included.  

Revenue Opportunities

Chameleon can also manage advertising and sponsorship-related content, forming an important revenue opportunity for event producers. Sponsor logos can be triggered at appropriate times or branded content may appear within the L-Bar, for example. Vern noted, “The addition of game-related data pulled directly from the game’s API creates an entirely new level of excitement. Fans can view specific game-related data content aggregated, visualised and displayed alongside the actual game.

“For die-hard fans looking for key stats, the visualisation of API data adds a strong sense of engagement. Furthermore, game data can be coordinated to trigger other content when thresholds are met or when specific events occur. For example, if a team or player reaches a specific milestone, a special promotional ad may run automatically.”

eSports and Databases

Bannister Lake’s approach to data management is unusual in the production industry and opens up various possibilities for production and editorial. The method revolves around the use of attaching key value pairs around a standard relational database. “A typical sports database is made up of a series of standardised fields that corresponds to that particular sport and very rarely changes. eSports on the other hand are dramatically different with datasets that vary from game to game and may or may not be used in production,” said Vern.

“Bannister Lake allows users to add new tables as a companion to the core data. The underlying technique is to take these incoming diverse datasets and organise them in databases that support exceptionally fast recall. This creates a production system that is more flexible and allows producers to act as editors and add or delete datasets on the fly – depending on the game, the audience and the production’s editorial needs.”

Controlling and Expanding Data

The system’s API and Query functionality allows producers to take this further and distribute data content to specific end points. For example, fans who are following a team from Brazil could receive data only relevant to that team and receive customised ads and sponsorships that centre on that market.

Beyond in-venue signage and the broadcast streams, custom data can be distributed to web pages or mobile devices, enhancing the eSports experience while opening up new market opportunities. It can also drive entirely new ways of conveying eSports data such as augmented reality and virtual reality. Having more control over data, its management, and where it is ultimately distributed will most likely result in completely new ways of reaching eSports audiences.   

Vern said, “As the broadcast and AV communities continue to experiment with big data, the challenge remains in how to strategically harness data and present it in ways that enhance storytelling and drive new revenue opportunities.

“The need for web-based systems that can be implemented quickly in complex data-rich production environments, such as eSports, is critical. It is only by taking full control of fast-moving data and marrying it with great graphic design that producers, sponsors and above all, fans will fully realise the excitement and business potential of eSports.   www.bannisterlake.com

Published in Digital Media World July 2019

 

 


  • -

Bannister Lake Takes on the Gran Turismo eSports Championships at the Legendary Nürburgring Track in Germany

Tags : 

For the second year in a row, Bannister Lake has partnered with Montreal’s Boombox Group to provide live data management and populate graphics for the FIA-Certified Gran Turismo Championships 2019 Series. The June 21-22 event took place at the renowned Nürburgring Track in Germany, home of the world’s most challenging 24-hour motorsports endurance race.

Bannister Lake software and expertise in live data management were used extensively throughout the event to read Google Sheets, ingest and moderate real-time social media feeds, and consolidate data for the competition’s various races. The solution’s data was used to drive graphics both in-venue and on the various broadcast streams.

Bannister Lake’s Chameleon software has quickly become a popular data management solution for international eSports events. Producers and event organizers use the product to add engaging content such as player and team profiles, event schedules, standings, and sponsorship information without taking away from the excitement of the game.

“It’s great to bring Chameleon on location at the Nürburgring. The track has an illustrious history in racing, and we’re thrilled to be part of the FIA-Certified Gran Turismo Championships,” said Al Savoie, Bannister Lake’s technical and creative director. “Throughout the series we will be finding new and exciting ways to integrate data into the production and leverage live data content to allow producers to tell more compelling Gran Turismo stories.”

The Nürburgring event featured 55 of the world’s best Gran Turismo drivers from 20 countries competing in the Manufacturer Series, the Nations Cup, and GR Supra GT Cup. Winners moved on to participate in racing events that will be held in New York, Salzburg, and the finals scheduled for October in Tokyo. Chameleon will be used throughout the FIA-Certified Gran Turismo Championships 2019 racing series to enhance editorial content and fuel new revenue opportunities for event organizers.

 

 


  • -

Avid and Bannister Lake Enter Into Sales and Distribution Agreement

Tags : 

Las Vegas, NAB Show 2019. Bannister Lake announced today it has entered into a joint sales, marketing, and distribution agreement with Avid®. Avid will serve as a non-exclusive distributor of Bannister Lake’s Chameleon data aggregation and management solution. With integration between Chameleon and the Avid Maestro™ Graphics, Avid users will be able to easily aggregate, moderate, and populate data-driven graphics for news, sports, financial, and other productions. Chameleon will be available through Avid’s sales channels.

Chameleon provides a sophisticated and powerful link between data and graphics for broadcast, OTT, digital signage, HTML5, online, and mobile applications. The solution reads, ingests, and manages multiple diverse data feeds through an advanced web interface, providing users with full control over both incoming data and output formats. Customized data is imported into graphic templates directly or through Chameleon’s RESTful API for use in news, sports, elections, financial, and other content genres. Chameleon data can also be imported into augmented reality and virtual reality products as well as IP-based solutions. It has also become a popular solution in data-intensive scenarios such as eSports and sports wagering.

“We are excited about bringing Bannister Lake’s wealth of data knowledge and expertise into the Avid ecosystem,” said Ofir Benovici, Avid’s vice president of media enterprise. “As live and static data play an increasingly important role in the production process, our end-users will realize greater value through more efficient workflows, better storytelling, and the opportunity to secure new business.”

“Avid is a natural fit for our data aggregation solutions,” said Georg Hentsch, president of Bannister Lake. “Not only will Avid customers be able to do more with their graphics, they will have the opportunity to leverage data in all kinds of ways that were previously unavailable. We look forward to a long and innovative relationship with Avid.”

Bannister Lake was established in 1994 and provides the broadcast industry with a variety of innovative solutions to manage data and graphics. The company supplies products and software development services to customize, automate, and distribute data content to various end points. Bannister Lake solutions can be found in television stations, networks, and at mission-critical events where live data is an essential part of communicating with audiences.

Bannister Lake will be exhibiting at the 2019 NAB Show, Booth SL5616.

 


  • -

Bannister Lake Raises the Bar on IP Video Production with Chameleon NDI® Player

Tags : 

Bannister Lake announced today that it is fully embracing the NDI® workflow with its powerful Chameleon data aggregation solution. For producers working within the NDI ecosystem, Chameleon provides a straightforward method to bring live data directly into their productions. Chameleon reads multiple data sources, including news, weather, sports, traffic, social media, and financial data content, allowing users to edit, moderate, and customize their data. Using Chameleon’s Query functionality, data can be parsed at a granular level, enabling producers to select subsets of data to target viewers. The solution automates the flow of data to endpoints, ensuring that content is consistently relevant and timely. In turn, using Chameleon’s RESTful API, data content can be reformatted for distribution to virtually any device or endpoint.

Chameleon also extends NDI well beyond broadcast as a data aggregation solution for eSports and digital signage, providing producers with new business opportunities. eSports events — broadcast, streamed, or in-venue — benefit from Chameleon’s ability to read and display important game-related data feeds and provide fans with score boards, player profiles, standings, and other key data. Live data is an integral part of digital signage, keeping viewers updated with the latest news and information.

“We are excited by the growing popularity of NDI-supported solutions and the significant number of downloads of the NDI SDK,” said Georg Hentsch, president, Bannister Lake. “Chameleon adds an entirely new level of NDI production professionalism by allowing users to manage and display highly relevant and timely data content that their audiences demand.”

In addition to managing traditional editorial data content, Chameleon provides an ideal solution for producers who require a way to display local and hyperlocal content, including election results, school closings, and event calendars. In addition, Chameleon’s custom data feature can ingest data from Google Sheets, providing an opportunity to integrate local sports data content.

To help the NDI community better understand the business, operational, and technical capabilities of Chameleon and data content in general, Alain Savoie, Bannister Lake’s creative and technical director, will present his co-authored technical paper, “New Methodologies in Real-Time Data Aggregation and Management for Broadcast Presentation and Distribution,” at the 2019 NAB Show. Along with Savoie, the paper was written by Hentsch and Bannister Lake’s Vernon Freedlander, who heads strategic partnerships. The presentation will take place on Wednesday, April 10, at 4 p.m. at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Room N260.

Bannister Lake will be at the 2019 NAB Show, Booth SL5616.

 


  • -

Bannister Lake’s Alain Savoie to Present at the 2019 NAB Show Broadcast Engineering and Information Technology Conference (BEITC)

Tags : 

Bannister Lake announced today that Alain Savoie, the company’s creative and technical director, will be presenting his co-authored white paper, “New Methodologies in Real-Time Data Aggregation and Management for Broadcast Presentation and Distribution” at the 2019 NAB Show. Along with Savoie, the paper was written by Bannister Lake’s Vernon Freedlander who heads strategic partnerships and the company’s president, Georg Hentsch. The presentation takes place on Wednesday, April 10 at 4 p.m. at the Las Vegas Convention Center room N260.

Live data, its management and visualization, have become an integral part of the broadcast and visual communications workflow. Whether used in fast-moving, dynamic on-air presentations such as elections, news, sports, eSports, or finance, or to populate and control on-air branding, effective live-data aggregation and management drives efficiencies and creates new monetization possibilities. As broadcasters seek out new revenue streams, live data plays a key role both online and in developing new markets such as streaming and digital signage.

Savoie will be speaking on several important data-related topics that directly impact the broadcast industry. The presentation will focus on unique data-driven engineering and development methodologies, and how broadcasters can take advantage of the data aggregation and management tools and techniques these methodologies foster to create more efficient and automated production workflows. Savoie will also explore how broadcasters can utilize real-time data to create and distribute new revenue-generating products and services. Savoie will use examples from broadcast, eSports, and event signage to illustrate.

Savoie is an industry authority on live-data-driven graphics. He has worked on numerous high-profile broadcast projects integrating data into innovative graphic solutions. At Bannister Lake he is responsible for integrating data feed content into Bannister Lake’s data aggregation and management technology suite and in turn outputting data to on-air graphic systems throughout the broadcast and event ecosystem. Savoie works directly with engineers, designers, editorial teams, and event producers offering training, commissioning, graphic operations, and consultation to meet any data and technical requirement within the production and graphic display workflow.

At the 2019 NAB Show Bannister Lake will be highlighting its flagship data aggregation and graphics management solution, Chameleon. Chameleon provides networks and station groups with unparalleled data aggregation, graphics management, and visualization possibilities. Beyond broadcast, the Chameleon solution is used in multiple data applications: OTT, streaming, digital signage, HTML5, online, and mobile. Chameleon reads, ingests, and manages multiple, diverse data feeds through an advanced web interface, providing users with full control over incoming data. Users can edit, moderate, blend, and manage datasets to generate completely customizable and automated tickers, L-bars, full frame graphics, and branding elements.

Be sure to visit Bannister Lake at the 2019 NAB Show, Booth SL5616.


  • -

Bannister Lake to Highlight New Feature Set and NDI Version of Chameleon Data Aggregation and Graphic Management Solution at 2019 NAB Show

Tags : 

Bannister Lake’s industry-leading data and graphics management solution, Chameleon, will be in the spotlight at the 2019 NAB Show with a focus on the product’s new election, sponsorship, and security functionality.

As broadcasters start planning for the 2020 presidential election, Chameleon boasts improvements to its election race modules, providing producers with more options to ingest and manage result data feeds, referendums, propositions, and acclaimed candidates.

The latest release highlights Chameleon’s ability to drive online, mobile, and social media election experiences by feeding data to web widgets and automatically sending out tweets based on Chameleon data conditions. These exciting features allow producers to utilize Chameleon data to visualize election results interactively, presenting innovative new storytelling possibilities.

A new and improved sponsor module tracks and connects campaigns to specific sponsors, making as-run logging clearer and better defined. Chameleon also includes enhanced security features aligned with NIST guidelines with improved password protection.

Bannister Lake has also focused a great deal of attention on social media, enhancing Chameleon’s Twitter search capabilities and improving the product’s media module, introducing bins for organizing content and the enablement of multi-file uploads.

Product demonstrations will feature projects focused on Bannister Lake’s recent work in elections, eSports, and event signage.

At NAB, Bannister Lake will also be introducing a new version of its Chameleon NDI player, providing NDI users with the ability to fully manage and visualize live data feeds. NDI users will be able to integrate, moderate, and customize multiple live data feeds into graphic templates and provide their audiences with real-time news, weather, sports, social media, financial, and customized data.

As part of NAB’s Broadcast Engineering and Information Technology Conference (BEITC), Al Savoie, Bannister Lake’s creative and technical director, will be presenting his co-authored whitepaper “New Methodologies in Real-Time Data Aggregation and Management for Broadcast Presentation and Distribution.” The interactive session will explore Bannister Lake’s unique approach to data aggregation and feature production examples from both broadcast and eSports. Savoie’s presentation takes place on April 10 at 4 p.m. at the Las Vegas Convention Center room N260.

In addition, NAB attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about Bannister Lake’s Zeus media storage and playout solution. Perfect for image- and clip-intensive production environments, Zeus provides producers with easy and immediate access to content. It is an ideal solution for home shopping channels, entertainment programs, news, sports productions, and any situation where high volume, quick turnaround, and unpredictability of clip and image requirements must be carefully managed. With minimum custom development, Zeus can be fully integrated with popular MAM systems, providing broadcasters with access to vast libraries of clip and image content.

Be sure to visit Bannister Lake at the 2019 NAB Show, Booth SL5616.