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U Arizona Athletics Upgrades to High-Def Control Room

The University of Arizona (UA) recently transitioned its dated analog control room to an all-digital, HD environment. The revamped control room now features two slow-motion instant replay systems, plus new routers, switches, cameras, audio equipment, and fiber infrastructure.

"My main focus is to promote the teams and create an environment for the fans where they will continue to support our events," said Matt George, director of video and information technology at UA, in a prepared statement.

U Arizona invested in Tightrope Media's Zeplay instant replay systems. Each unit includes eight channels of live replay (four in, four out), plus built-in multiviewer, and multiple tagging capabilities for storage, recall, and highlight package creation.

"We build profiles for each sport, and operators can just pull down the home team, type in the player number and use a hot button to tag a play," George explained. "This is especially ideal in basketball, where fans are close to the action. We can throw together a quick player highlight package after a scoring spurt to keep the crowd juiced during breaks."

Another benefit UA discovered, according to George, was Zeplay's ease of use.

"We don’t have a huge budget for production, so we utilize a lot of student and freelance labor," said George. "I can assign a camera guy who has never run replay for a basketball game and get decent results. It's not a simple system--it does everything we want it to do--but it's simple to operate, and it's very robust and powerful. And things like the built-in multiviewer are a great cost-saver to me as it provides extra information, and features like color outlines and camera titling."

U Arizona worked with systems integrator AVR on the design and system installation for the new control room. The university will use the instant replay systems for its home games, including football, basketball, volleyball, and gymnastics.

About the Author

Kanoe Namahoe is online editor for 1105 Media's Education Group. She can be reached at [email protected].

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