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Gear in Use for School Esports Streaming

Learn more about sports streaming at Streaming Media's next event.

Watch the complete presentation from Streaming Media West, E105. Esports and Streaming in Education, in the Streaming Media Conference Video Portal.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Todd Conley: There's a lot of you know, $50 off-the-shelf commodity hardware that's used. Even in some of the more professional broadcasts, you know, I still see when I'm going and setting up for some major events, I still see, you can tell the difference between someone that started their broadcast career in Esports or came from, as I call it, Tsports, or traditional sports.

But at the end of the day, they're all producing the same signal, and most of the use cases are not even consuming a full, you know, 1080p60 stream. Even if you think you are on your fancy 4k phone, most of the providers are cutting that down.

So here's just some of the off-the-shelf gear, I'll skip through that slide, but this is the gear that we use for a high school Overwatch production, which consists of north of 40 camera angles if you could think about it? But it's all done with NDI--who's familiar with NDI? Of course you are, you're young. Okay. Jeff as well, 'cause he's building that into his broadcast trucks.

But just a couple things to point out here: this is, Overwatch is a game that involves 12 people sitting on a stage playing a match if you will. There's six on one team and six on the other team so you've got six computers, they all have little commodity webcams on top there, they've got their headsets where they're doing the game audio, and down there in the bottom left is kind of depicted three monitors that's a video mixing workstation if you will, there's a just a IP or POE switch that's powering everything, 'cause there's usually a couple other cameras in the network, in this case, we're leveraging some some POE cameras that send back NDI video, and give, you know, the audience or the production the ability to mess around with that pan, tilt, zoom functionality.

I'd say that's at the high end of the collegiate and high school productions, kind of in the middle range, you've got either prosumer or consumer-level cameras, anything that has an HDMI outlet, whether that's a GoPro, or in this case, that's a cheap Panasonic GH2, it's one of the cheapest DSLRs in the market that has clean HDMI out, so that's a $200 device, goes into a $100 HDMI capture device back into your box and now you've got any sort of nice lens you want to put onto that, in the bottom right, there's the Observer Machine, who doesn't know what an Observer Machine is in Esports?

Okay, thanks for raising your hand. An observer is a virtual cameraman, so almost all the games, there's actually another person that logs into the game, but instead of being one of the competitors, they're flying around a camera throughout the map or the environment in the game, and so you can think of that as the main sideline camera, but that camera can instantly teleport somewhere else in that game that's taking place. So that's really the, one of the feeds that's used a lot, and then you've got your real-life cameras if you will, that are capturing the players' faces or some of those moments and high fives that happen.

Jordan Rambis: Sorry, sorry. It's one of the harder things about an Esports broadcast 'cause if you're looking at traditional sport broadcast, there's a ball. So if you're you know, let's say for the announcers that are talking about the game, they're following it, everyone's looking at the same thing, right. In terms of a Esport match, like let's say League of Legends, there's three different primary lanes, five champions, playing on three lanes, where there might be simultaneous actions, so there has to be a lot of coordination with whoever is running as the observer, and the shoutcaster is calling the game.

You know, the more amateur streams will have the same person doing both, which makes it easier, but then as it goes on you're trying to check with what's going on throughout the entire map. So there are some, well, a lot of the tech and stuff that's coming out makes it a lot easier to stream an Esport match than it would be a traditional sport match. The actual content can be more difficult to follow at times, just because of all the simultaneous action. There are some games that have a ball, like rocket league, but for the most part most of them have simultaneous action during an Estream.

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