Broadcast feedback

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Broadcast feedback

Postby sidnangia » Sat Apr 24, 2010 10:33 pm

I just wanted some feedback on the broadcast quality and content this year. cmuTV puts a lot of effort into producing buggy and we want to make sure you guys can enjoy it as much as us.

So if there are some problems, issues or just things you would like to see changed for next year regarding the broadcast, please let me know and we will work on those for next year.


- Sid
(President, cmuTV)

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Re: Broadcast feedback

Postby mbueti » Sat Apr 24, 2010 10:57 pm

The only things that bothered me was the occasional dropping out of the web stream (more uStream's issue than yours, I'm assuming), and the lack of a timing clock on many of the heats. I feel like these are issues that you guys are well aware of though, and overall I was very impressed by this year's broadcast, including the commentary. Keep it going!

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Re: Broadcast feedback

Postby sidnangia » Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:28 am

Clock issues should not happen again. We had equipment fail on us just a few minutes before the heats and took about 5-6 heats to get it back and running again.

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Re: Broadcast feedback

Postby galexkeene » Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:03 am

Not sure if you guys are set up to do this, but is it possible for you to just throw a camera on the official clock rather than try to run your own? I know it might not look quite as sexy, even after you crop it down, but it will at least be more accurate. Maybe you can even talk to Sam or whoever about giving you guys an output from the system so your display time is matching the official time more closely.

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Re: Broadcast feedback

Postby Zatchmo » Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:56 am

One thing that I always wanted to see was spreading out the coverage a little more. The strong tendency in the broadcasts has been to focus on the leading buggy, above all else. I think that especially as the lead buggy enters the back hills, focus can be redirected at the others doing more interesting things, or at least them passing through the chute.

Most of the viewing time for AEPi at the jumbotron is spent on things like 'Are we through the chute?', 'Who spun? Are we around?', and trying to spot our buggy in the background of another buggy being filmed on the backhills.

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Re: Broadcast feedback

Postby revo » Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:04 am

Can you get some HD cameras? (those are cheap to rent right?)

Actually, the biggest change that I think is both achievable and would have the biggest benefit to those watching at home/replaying the footage later would be a split screen to show the different teams within a heat. Make it so we could see the leading team in the heat the full-way through and anything interesting happening with the following team(s).

Some adjustments in camera positions might be helpful, in particular it would be nice to have a better view of the transitions. It would probably help the viewers if we made sure the lines were painted in a fashion that stood out better (e.g. thicker lines, like at the finish). The hill 1/2 transition in particular gets lost in the broadcast (it may be easier to see from the other side of the street, but that would then require having the broadcast cables suspended over the road).

Regarding getting an official time on the broadcast the software is such that a direct feed could be setup to the truck, but I believe cmuTV is out of connections already, so they are at the limits of the existing truck. If you did have the official time feed, then we could have a cmuTV unofficial clock pumping out splits (e.g. freeroll time). I suppose if you had official times coming in as a timestamp on the feed it'd be easy to do stuff like the PiKA A/SDC A overlay (

Only other things I've thought of while watching other sports are things like the robotic cameras that go alongside sprinters/speed skaters etc on a straightaway (up hill 1 or along the back hills) or the overhead cameras on cables that the XFL an overhead view of portions of the course would be pretty great to watch (

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Re: Broadcast feedback

Postby shafeeq » Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:45 am

The timing system has the option (with one more box we didn't order) to output a TV signal instead of a scoreboard. The examples look a little 1980's ish but, it will get the running time & results up. We'll have to figure out how to get around the "only updates once per second" issue.

Depending on how CMUtv's clock is being generated, it should be a simple matter of wire to trigger it from the same source as the official clock. That would have the nice benefit of providing a backup for the main timing system.

The one thing I miss is that sometimes the interesting parts of the race are not at the front. Sometimes the commentators catch this, and sometimes they don't because they only see what's on TV. This is usually when there's a tight race between 2 & 3, but the first buggy is way in front.

Given that the first and last buggies are only at most 1 camera position behind, is it possible to show the commentators both and have the director figure out which one they're talking about? Or at least record both and give them a chance to talk about it on replay? If it all has to be done live, is there a way to fit a commentator (or at least a knowledgable person) in the truck to pick the most interesting bit? That's a tricky one to rehearse, since freerolls do not produce tight races, and viewing last year's tape doesn't show you what you're missing.

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Re: Broadcast feedback

Postby aepibuggy » Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:51 am

I definitely thought that the last couple of years were MILES better than the previous coverage. I only have 2 complaints from this year.

1) The camera in the chute zoomed in the follow the first buggy through the chute, and missed the chute entrance for a lot of the later buggies. I know that in our Men's A heat, I heard the commentator say that SigNu had spun out, but the chute camera was too zoomed in to catch that happen. So I had no idea what effect, if any, the spinout had on our driver, her line, where it was, etc.

2) Similar to point 1, if there is a pass, or buggies are close, I would prefer to watch that, even if they are the 2nd and 3rd buggies. Passes are always the most exciting thing (followed, to me, by the chute and the finish), so it would be good to make sure that all passes are shown.

3) The replays that are on CMUtv right now are only showing the Men's Finals! Well, Men's Finals and the Fringe B women's roll. I ran back from the hills to watch myself push during the exhibition heats (which are typically replayed every year with the rest of the Second Raceday coverage), but all of that is edited out. Can we get that back in?

Furthermore on Point 3, it would be nice if the replays included both Friday and Saturday races...Some of us are only in 1 of the 2.

Although I'll be getting the DVD anyway.

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Re: Broadcast feedback

Postby abordick » Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:22 pm

Wow, you guys are really pushing the envelope and that's good. In the broadcast booth, we were able to cue up any camera at anytime so we could comment on any portion of the race. However, that doesn't mean that the feed was going out so the public could see it.

Having Mark in the chute always gave us eyes on analysis, but cmuTV doesn't record all cameras all the time, so even if a camera was following buggies 2 and 3, they couldn't replay that if the output feed was watching the lead buggy.

We tried to watch the passes and other cool stuff on the other cameras, but the communication of these events is difficult during a live broadcast.

By the way, I recommend trying to poke your head into the production truck. It's way beyond awesome.

Nice job, Sid.


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Re: Broadcast feedback

Postby mldarm » Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:24 pm

Thanks cmuTV, race coverage was pretty awesome.

I would like to double up on having split times, something like luge or bobsled have. We all know the same course time doesn't break down the same between two runs, it would be pretty cool to have a number of fixed points with split times to compare a run to the current leader (or even the course record if possible).

And Revo, that 1956 video is awesome, I don't think I had ever seen that. Any chance of getting the budget for the BuggyCopter? or BuggyBlimp? You know, with some weather balloons and robotic cameras, it might actually be doable...

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