Alston Elliot Powering Sports Graphics Broadcast Ecosystem with Bluefish444
19 June, 2017
UK-based Alston Elliot was founded in 1992, and has subsidiaries in South Africa, India and Australia. They have over 25 years of success as one of the world’s leading providers of turnkey televised sports graphics and data solutions, often fulfilling the role of technology partner to broadcasters. Alston Elliot is the official graphics service provider to the forthcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 and Rugby World Cup 2019. Alston Elliot’s turnkey graphics services have been adopted by broadcasters of football including the English Premier League, FA Cup, Europa League, and WSL. Graphics services to broadcasters of other sports include snooker, golf, motorsports, darts, athletics, tennis, rugby league, hockey, fishing and kabaddi.
Since having established an office in Australia in 2011, Alston Elliot have supplied some of the country’s leading broadcasters including Fox Sports, Network 10, Channel Nine, Channel 7, ABC and SBS. Audiences in Australia have watched Alston Elliot graphics during the KFC Big Bash cricket, ICC World Cup, A-League football, Australian Grand Prix and National Rugby League, the latter with a new broadcast graphics package for Augmented Reality on Spidercam.
At the heart of graphics creation by Alston Elliot in Australia are products from Bluefish444, Vizrt and ChyronHego. Viz Arena for virtual ads, analysis and image insertion, Viz Trio for character generation, ChyronHego Paint for telestration and analysis, and ChyronHego Virtual Placement for virtual graphics, are all used interoperably with Bluefish444 Epoch SDI video cards.
Alston Elliot use high-quality, low latency, multi-channel fill and key Bluefish444 SDI I/O Epoch video cards within their in-truck and in-studio on-air facilities. Ed Lopes, Operations Manager at Alston Elliot Australia, explains “Bluefish444 video cards integrate perfectly with our on-site requirements, and have allowed us to reduce the size of our in-truck footprint.”
Alston Elliot has integrated numerous models of Bluefish444 SDI video cards into their systems. Epoch | Neutron, Epoch | 4K Supernova and Epoch | 4K Supernova S+ are installed in their mobile setups, and used during high-profile event coverage, such as the Rugby World Cup, Olympics, NRL, and Formula One. During such demanding telecasts, Bluefish444 were relied upon to deliver live television broadcast and up-to-date scoring, statistics and graphics.
“It’s important that the hardware we use provides a high level of reliability. We’ve found Bluefish444 Epoch video cards to be of the highest quality, and the support that we receive is sensational and extremely helpful in all respects”, comments Ed Lopes. “This has been a standout feature of investing in Bluefish444 products. I don’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone looking for quality I/O solutions.”
The Epoch range of video cards allow for a high amount of flexibility, with the bidirectional nature of the BNCs in all products meaning it is quick and easy to switch between having both input and output, input only, or output only. This functionality helps to streamline Alston Elliot’s process, as the same card can be used in multiple configurations depending on the needs of the current application. The smaller physical size of their installed Epoch | Neutron and Epoch | Supernova S+ video cards also help to keep their installations more compact, while still retaining a high level of performance and interoperability with Vizrt and ChyronHego applications.
With the future of the sports and broadcast industry in general moving more towards IP-based solutions, Alston Elliot continues to work with Bluefish444 to deliver new workflows, such as online video streaming and second screen applications. “Bluefish444 feature heavily in our plans moving forward,” Ed comments. “With the added bonus of Bluefish444 being based in Melbourne, they definitely get my ‘tick of approval’ to be a core part of our business for the years ahead.”