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Interplay-Sports Leverages Magewell USB Capture Line for Live In-Game Analysis

The combination of the Interplay-sports software and Magewell hardware brings a new dimension to sports analysis, empowering coaches with valuable, real-time information that they can use to make adjustments during matches

Pioneering sports software developer Interplay-sports has selected the USB Capture series of external video ingest devices from Magewell to bring high-quality video feeds into Interplay’s innovative software for live, in-game analysis. The combination of the Interplay-sports software and Magewell hardware brings a new dimension to sports analysis, empowering coaches with valuable, real-time information that they can use to make adjustments during matches.

Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, Interplay-sports has a goal of providing the most flexible and advanced video analysis solutions for the sports market. Building on a rich history spanning more than 20 years and an international patent, the company offers analysis solutions for over a dozen sports for organizations of any level, from professional and college teams to youth leagues and high schools.

Users can analyze offensive and defensive activities, individual players or specific plays for both their own team and their opponents. While many technology companies refer to their solutions as ‘game-changing’, Interplay-sports’ software literally helps their users – teams, coaches, players and scouts – win games.

While most sports teams around the world perform post-game analysis using recorded video files, this after-the-fact approach means the resulting insights are only usable by coaches for future matches, not during the game at hand. Interplay-sports’ software can similarly perform file-based evaluation, but its unique power comes from its exceptional live analysis capabilities. The system delivers analysis to coaches immediately during games, enabling them to make important decisions and modify strategies or tactics.

To capture the live video for this analysis, multiple cameras and other video sources must be connected to an analysis computer running the Interplay-sports software. Originally using IEEE-1394 (FireWire) connectivity, Interplay-sports began looking for an alternative as 1394-compatible devices became increasingly rare.

Beyond the obvious necessity of reliability, they wanted a solution that would be easy for their customers to install with minimal effort or technical assistance. Searching for interface devices to capture SDI or HDMI source signals through laptop computers’ USB 3.0 ports, the first products Interplay-sports tested exhibited some significant issues.

“The other vendor’s devices required proprietary software drivers to be installed on the system,” said Jan Tunli, CEO of Interplay-sports. “We also experienced compatibility problems with the devices on several computers, and they were not stable.”

Interplay-sports turned to Magewell’s USB Capture series, and found them ideal for their needs. “From our very first test, the Magewell devices were very successful for us,” said Tunli. “The fact that they do not require any software installation makes them truly plug-and-play, and their ability to be powered directly from the computer over the USB 3.0 connection is perfect, avoiding the need for an external power source.”

Up to four live video sources can be connected to the main Interplay-sports analysis computer through Magewell USB Capture devices for live processing. For analysis using even more camera angles, live ‘slave’ computers can be synchronized with the main system, each supporting four more cameras with Magewell capture devices. By connecting other sources such as television set-top boxes and computers to the Interplay-sports system using Magewell devices, teams can also analyze televised or streamed games being played by their upcoming opponents, helping them prepare for future games.

“The Magewell USB Capture products are perfect for enabling our live analysis capabilities, delivering the best quality while making installation very easy for our users,” Tunli summarized. “They have also been very stable, which is critical in live game situations. Our goal is to help sports teams win their games, and adding Magewell capture devices to our software is a winning combination that helps our customers to achieve that.”

About Magewell – Founded in 2011, Magewell focuses on the core technology of video and audio processing. With guiding principles of continuous innovation and providing customers with outstanding support, Magewell has earned a strong reputation for the exceptional quality, performance and reliability of its I/O devices. Distributed globally, Magewell products are used in a wide array of professional video applications including broadcast, live event streaming, medical imaging, lecture capture, surveillance, video conferencing, gaming and more. For more information, please visit www.magewell.com.