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Improve your sports live streaming with AI video switcher

December 29, 2022 · 6 min read
Pavel Saskovec Technical Writer
Proofread by the expert: Oleg Gubin

Every boy or girl has a dream.

A dream of scoring the goal at the last second, performing a perfect penalty or a 3-pointer, clutching 1v5 — you know, the stuff you think about in the shower or while drifting off to sleep. Great stuff.

But you know what’s not great?

All of your greatness recorded with a 0.2 megapixel camcorder from a single angle.

Fortunately, we can make things better for the future sports stars and those live streaming their performances. Let’s see how.

The production quality of different calibers

There are sports leagues that operate on a somewhat lesser scale than professional ones: they can be based on a town, college, or school.

And all of those smaller secondary leagues still make efforts to capture and live stream the games in all their glory.

But there are budget constraints that often limit the ability of secondary sports leagues to achieve the same quality of production as their major counterparts.

Say you are responsible for live streaming secondary sports league events.

To capture everything going on in the field in the finest detail, you would need a multi-camera setup placed throughout the field, so that every play can be captured from several angles.

That’s the first half.

The second half is the tech supplementing the sports video camera systems’ work. You would have to set up the whole studio with video streams going in there, and hire people running that studio. That includes directors, producers, sound folks, camera people, and all that.

Live streaming sports events requires a considerable investment in multi-camera setup and people to run it.
Live streaming sports events requires a considerable investment in multi-camera setup and people to run it.

As you can imagine, all of that comes to a hefty check.

If you’re not up to lifting that, we have something that might be great for doing the work of a live stream director in their stead.

AI video switcher curbs the cost of sports live streaming

The trick is in substituting the workers earning a high and regular wage with something that would do the same work, provide the same consistent results, and cost less.

Since we’re not in the mood for dissing human rights organizations today, we would have to rely on automation to do the work.

Surprisingly, there are lots of things that can be done with software to improve the production quality for sports live streams. Smart cloud platforms can provide intelligent video analysis and identify scenes that might be of interest.

And you’re free to do with them as you want: have the software cut a compilation of scores, a summary of the competition, the clips of brawls, and so on.

And back to the topic of our discussion: the same algorithm can work just as well for switching between sports recording cameras during the live streams.

In this case, you would just have to set up some cameras and put the video content analysis software in charge. No need for the large staff of video people.

Well, there’s no going around a multi-camera setup, you will need to invest in that. But you can implement an AI camera switcher to do the rest.
Well, there’s no going around a multi-camera setup, you will need to invest in that. But you can implement an AI camera switcher to do the rest.

Think the AI can’t do something that complex? Aye.

We’re not talking about AI.

Cognitive Computing platform for intelligent video analysis

Sure enough, Artificial Intelligence has some difficulties with intelligent video analysis that requires context understanding. It’s best suited for recognizing shapes, objects, or speech.

And that is how some may go about their video content analysis. Nothing wrong with that. Say, if you need the software to know where the action on field is at any moment and have a certain camera catch it, you may have AI just keeping its “eyes” on a ball. Surely someone will eventually come to kick it.

It may not always work though, because the sport is not always as straightforward. In different sports, like baseball, the ball is not always at the center of attention. As there are plays happening in different parts of the field. And you may wanna capture those as well. Just saying.

Just tracking the ball won’t do if you’re working with a variety of sport genres.
Just tracking the ball won’t do if you’re working with a variety of sport genres.

Which means your intelligent video analysis software has to understand the game to some extent. Something more nuanced, like Cognitive Computing, can definitely do it.

It hosts a set of technology that can help the software analyze the footage and get a sense of what’s going on there, and here’s how it does it.

The algorithm dissects the footage frame by frame and carefully studies its contexts, applying a sophisticated bouquet of:

  • Deep learning;
  • Digital image processing;
  • Cognitive Computer vision;
  • Traditional Computer vision.

Learn more about AI content automation!

Having extracted the data from the content, the intelligent video analysis algorithms are hard at work figuring out the plays. It can tell apart passes, goals, penalties, falls, outs, and other in-game situations with the help of:

  • Probabilistic AI;
  • Cognitive science;
  • Machine perception;
  • Math modeling.

And it perfectly ties in with our video switcher use case.

The software has the stream switching to the sports video camera closest to the action. This way, you get the stream demonstrating the game at the best possible angles.

Get you panoramic shots during wide attacks and passes, close ups on struggles over the ball control, faces of coaches, and all the good stuff.

You can go further with your production as well, and use those shots at good angles for replays. Just by adopting an automated camera switching algorithm, you can get both better shot positioning and replays.

Intelligent video analysis allows you to streamline the sports content production in many ways.
Intelligent video analysis allows you to streamline the sports content production in many ways.

You don’t need a Boeing full of equipment and a second one filled with crew to operate it, which is especially great for those broadcasters with a less impressive budget than that of NBA or ESPN.

AI video switcher is a cost-effective production face-lift

We can surely say that secondary leagues do not have the shortage of folks willing to play the sports and compete.

But money is the issue. And broadcasters for said leagues also struggle with delivering quality content with limited resources.

If only there was a way to increase the performance in the field, which doesn’t include hiring a lot of expensive professionals.

Oh, wait — automation is a thing.

To increase the production quality of your sports live stream, you can set up cameras and implement a software solution that would analyze the video streams coming from them, choosing the best angles and shots.

That way, the viewers have the most action on their screen. You know, the point of spectator sports.

From here, you can go beyond switching cameras. The automation powered by Cognitive Computing tech allows you to:

Congratulations! Now you have your own team of robots who work 50x faster than a human producer. The feature of using them to take over the world will come with future updates.


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