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World Surf League Japan Streams Surfing Tournament Using Blackmagic Design-Driven Workflow

WSLJ uses the Blackmagic ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K switcher, Intensity Pro 4K capture and playback card and several Mini Converters

Blackmagic Design today announced that the World Surf League Japan (WSL Japan) uses a Blackmagic ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K live production switcher, along with a number of other Blackmagic products, for the streaming and distribution of its surfing tournament worldwide.

World Surf League (WSL) is an international professional surf league with headquarters in California and regional offices in New York, Australia, France, South Africa, Brazil, Hawaii and Japan with WSL Japan. WSL holds professional surfing international tournaments, called the “Dream Tour,” where top surfers compete on some of the toughest waves in the world, and WSL Japan hosts 10 of the events each year. WSL Japan has been streaming the tournaments to a huge worldwide audience of avid surf fans since 2006.

“We were using SD equipment for streaming the tournaments, but we wanted to upgrade to HD to increase the entertainment value and have the best quality picture. The staff from the US office of WSL was already using Blackmagic and recommended the equipment for our HD upgrade,” said Jyunichi Ishimori, a technical manager of WSL Japan in charge of the streaming of the events.

With the advice from WSL US, Ishimori chose the Blackmagic ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K switcher, Intensity Pro 4K capture and playback card and several Mini Converters. “The ATEM switcher has many tools, such as Picture in Picture, and allows us to improve the image quality of our program. It is easy to use, and I was able to learn how to use it on my own. It is also compact, so I can set up the system for each tournament in only 30 minutes,” he said.

As the tournaments are held at different beaches, WSL Japan brings all the equipment they need for each event with them. The venues vary from the beach to the parking lot by the beach, and sometimes the set up is housed in a truck, while other times it’s under a tent.

Once set up, WSL Japan live streams using two consumer cameras. “As they are consumer cameras, they are not equipped with SDI connections. We use Mini Converters Analog to SDI and HDMI to SDI to convert those connections to SDI and send video feeds to the ATEM switcher. Also we use the ATEM for keying the graphics from a PC to display the surfers’ names and scores on the screen. In addition, we use a simple replay system for judges to be able to recheck the surfers’ rides and decide their scores,” said Ishimori.

The program out of the ATEM is sent to a PC with an Intensity Pro 4K capture and playback device installed via HDMI, and the feed is then streamed using Wirecast. The tournament starts in the morning and lasts throughout the day, with WSL Japan streaming every moment. 

About Blackmagic Design 

Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and real time film scanners for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability in post production, while the company’s Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including 6G-SDI and 12G-SDI products and stereoscopic 3D and Ultra HD workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia. For more information, please go to