Grass Valley hits a home run in Korea
KOREA: Video replay is often used to review close plays and to assist umpires in making decisions that can sometimes affect the outcome of a match in baseball. Until recently the KBO (Korean Baseball Organization) had been relying on third-party feeds from broadcasters for this application, which resulted in inconsistent quality. To standardise the process, the organisation recently invested in its own video replay review system, installing a solution comprising Grass Valley’s K2 Dyno Universe Replay System with K2 Summit 3G media servers across nine of its stadiums.
The purchase was facilitated via Grass Valley’s local partner in Korea, Sama GVC, which also provided training and after-sales service. The setup across each of the stadiums can be operated remotely from a central control location in Seoul, enabling KBO officials to review plays as required, with complete control of the system that can also facilitate 6X Super Slo-Mo and 4K should the organisation choose to upgrade in the future.
‘Until now, we’ve had to ask our broadcast partners to show us the replays so we can review close calls. This often caused significant delays as we requested different views, speeds or angles,’ explained Jongwan Lee, team manager of the SPOTV operations group in charge of KBO project management. ‘Now, we can control the video feeds ourselves and use the slo-mo capability to get the necessary views. The process is much faster and the calls are more accurately reviewed, so the fan experience is much better.’
Up to five KBO games can be played on the same day, and with its Grass Valley system the organisation can reportedly manage all video feeds simply and effectively as the K2 Summit media servers can ingest up to 12 video feeds, distributing them to the control centre via an IP encoder/decoder. From the control centre, officials have access to the video sources from each of the nine stadiums.
‘By centralising it all in one control centre, we can have highly trained K2 Dyno operators who are experts at finding the right video clips and angles to make the call,’ noted Mr Lee. ‘The new system is enabling us to more accurately review disputed plays quickly and make the right call so the game can continue with minimal delays.’
‘I expect that all of our national sports organisations will be watching our results very closely,’ added Kiwhan Inn, president of Sama GVC. ‘This is the first sports organisation in Korea adopting the server and slo-mo replay technology and it will affect all other professional sports such as basketball and volleyball.’
‘Working with our channel partner in the area, we’ve been able to supply the perfect replay system for KBO’s centralised solution that provides exactly what is needed in all nine stadiums at any given time,’ concluded Grass Valley’s vice president of sales, Asia Pacific, Andrew Thornton. ‘KBO’s needs were very specific and the K2 Dyno Universe replay system combined with the K2 Summit servers is an ideal solution for the group. It’s going to be an exciting baseball season in Korea.’