Pixellot delivers automated live streamed hockey games


Carol Schram from Forbes recently wrote a fantastic article about how HockeyTech is using Pixellot for automated production during Covid-19.

Without a doubt, Hockey is a popular sport. And without a doubt, Covid-19 has made everything a challenge. but Pixellot has offered great AI technology for people to watch the games. And this ranges from junior leagues all the way to the pros. 

HockeyTV is a branch of HockeyTech which stride at bring new ways of integrating tech, analytics, and information to fans. They run AHLTV platforms for the American Hockey League. 

For each AHL rink, stats crew use HockeyTech hardware. 

"The system is called ViPr (pronounced “viper”), an acronym for “virtual production.” It integrates the video feed with the live data to provide real-time stats on the HockeyTV platform — score and time as well as more detailed information such as penalties and shots on goal," Carol Schram wrote. 

But live production can be expensive. But back in 2016, HockeyTech puchased and used its first AI camera from Pixellot who are the leaders in qutomated sports production


“What it does is actually shoot a panoramic video of the ice sheet,” said Stu Seigel (HockeyTech founder). “Then, using artificial intelligence, it follows the action by zooming in to the appropriate area on that panoramic stream, to create the illusion that there’s a cameraperson leading the camera. What’s actually happening is that the computer is choosing where it’s going to zoom in.”

“We pivoted a couple of years in, to really focus on the democratization of sports production,” said David Shapiro, (President North America | Pixellot). “What we’ve done is moved down the sports curve, in terms of level of play, to be able to cover small college, semi-professional, high school and club sports.”

181 systems have since been installed across North America! 

Most recently, we launched something called the Community Network,” Shapiro said. "We now have about 60 rinks covered with the Community Network, which is to broadcast youth events. These are club teams that are playing, I’d say, ages from nine to 18 years old, that previously did not have production.”

 These systems are run remotely in HockeyTech's streaming Operations Center located in Waterloo, Ontario. The result is a much smaller production crew to keep in line with social distancing. 

“The cost per game is going to be very different if you’ve got 10 games or 50 games, but it’s a very small fraction of traditional broadcasters,” Shapiro said. “Usually, we’re talking, like, 10 to 15% of a traditional broadcast.”

Another benefit of using AI durring Covid-19 that is truly helps minimize the number of personnel needed. 

“And in addition to just the games, it can capture practices,” Shapiro continued. “The coaches can use it for drills and then, after practice, be able to annotate on the screen. And the more events you have in a rink, the more cost-efficient our technology is.”

These streams also let scouts who can't be physically at the rink view players and what they are doing. 

They also let spectators and coaches watch games from a SmartTV, phone, or tablet via HockeyTV's Community Network. 

“In the middle of this pandemic, it’s made streaming go from what used to be, even six months ago, a nice-to-have in the amateur market, to now being a must-have,” Shapiro said. “If a parent or family member can’t go to a game, you’d better be providing a way for them to be able to watch their child.”

Call us at  800-323-2325 for help finding an integrator in your area who can help you get the Pixellot system that's best for your next sporting event.

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