Dashboard Top of the League for Norwegian Football Coverage

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The Norwegian company OB-Team A/S is the country’s largest outside broadcasting organisation. With a total of 8 trucks, the company broadcasts a variety of cultural and sporting events every year and has recently started shooting live Division 1 football matches. When they first started to capture these matches, OB-Team’s personnel had to grapple with a number of challenges, most notably the need for an improved graphics system that would be lightweight, easy to use and ‘OB friendly’.

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With a modest 3-camera approach and only limited human resource on hand – there is often no dedicated graphic operator available – OB-Team needed a smart graphics and control solution and so turned to Bøn-based company ST Alliance A/S and Ole Andreas Torvmark. An electronic engineer with over a decade of experience in graphic design and programming, Ole has built up an enviable reputation in the fields of embedded electronics, programming, GUI design and 3D graphics for both television and mobile applications.

“There were a number of issues to consider with this project”, Ole notes. “Ease of use was paramount, as was the need to create a system that would be both physically small and lightweight. Additionally, a video switcher with DSK was not available so I needed to factor in the need to do live keying on an external box. It quickly became clear to me that we needed Ross Video for this system”.

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Ole created a small flight case solution comprising Ross Video’s XPression graphics package with the AJA I/O Express with thunderbolt running on a Macbook Pro with Microsoft Windows. “Incredibly small and neat but very powerful”, comments Ole. Turning to the issue of control, Ole proposed Ross Video’s Dashboard product; Dashboard is fully customisable and its Panelbuilder feature allowed Ole to build a GUI for live football that would cover every eventuality during a game. The result is a tab-based interface with one main playout tab where the operator can work easily, and 6 tabs for extra functionality and easy setup.

The control interface has been written mostly with ogScript and some direct RossTalk commands. It uses XML files for each of the football teams and their respective players. This enables the operator to simply enter the squad numbers of the players in the lineup and thereafter load the names with one easy click of a button. It also enables the production team to easily update and correct names of players by distributing new XML files.

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Commenting on the system, freelance technical manager and regular user Dag Inge Dahl said “this new graphics solution has made my life so much easier; it only took me 20 minutes to learn all about the new DashBoard solution and even after that short time I felt confident and ready for our first live broadcast. The Ross Panelbuilder feature is especially powerful and has given me exactly what I need – large buttons and simple menus that place everything at my fingertips and provide reliable and consistent results. I used to worry about broadcasting live football but now I sleep soundly the night before a match!”

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