Tampa Bay Lightning uses ZEPLAY for instant NHL replays

The Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team is giving its fans at Amalie Arena more action to follow with a Tightrope Media Systems’ ZEPLAY slo-mo.

Amalie Arena just completed a $65 million renovation that includes a new production control room and the largest indoor video board in a North American arena. To capture audience attention, the arena uses a Tightrope Media Systems’ ZEPLAY slo-mo instant replay solution.

The Tampa Bay Lightning chose ZEPLAY based on its speed, cost, reliability and streamlined operation. ZEPLAY’s multichannel capability (four in, four out) makes multiple streams available for play out just seven frames after camera feed selection.  The team’s production staff displays the replays and highlights on a giant, four-sided Daktronics LED video display. The immense display measures 28 x 50 feet on its larger sides and 28 x 20 feet on the smaller sides facing the goals.

“As the game unfolds, Lightning fans want to see a replay of that save or that goal, or any exciting play moments after it happens.  ZEPLAY keeps our fans happy by giving them all the replays they want without delay,” said Jorge Rosell, director of broadcast production systems for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“The issue of speed goes beyond how quickly the crowd gets to see a replay,” he continued. “Before it becomes part of our live show, our director has to see it first.  The faster we obtain his approval, the faster we can get it out to the video board.  ZEPLAY simplifies the whole process because the operator only has to look at one screen to see the video choices, and all of the key features and functions are easily accessible from the controller’s T-Bar.”

During the renovation, the production control room went 1080i HD with ZEPLAY, a new Ross Carbonite 24 2-M/E production switcher and a ChyronHego Lex 3 live graphics system.

Tampa Bay Lightning action is captured by up to 12 cameras, including studio/field, robotic, goal-cams and wireless units.  With four HD-SDI inputs/outputs, ZEPLAY accesses camera signals from the Pesa Cheetah house router.  Besides creating instant replays, the system also plays out B-Roll, including highlight packages, directly to the video boards during show opens and intermissions.  When lower-third supers, keys, mortices or other video effects are needed, ZEPLAY’s output goes through the Carbonite switcher/ChyronHego Lex production chain before being displayed on the large screen inside the bowl.

In the near future, ZEPLAY will also send replays to a custom app that lets fans view them on their smartphones and mobile devices inside the arena.

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