A startup from imec and Hasselt University, AZilPix, has developed a solution that makes capturing video content at live events considerably easier and more cost-effective. AZilPix’s ‘Studio.One’ can be operated by a single person. It includes stand-alone, ultra-high-resolution cameras equipped with wide-angle lenses to cover all possible viewing angles during live events (from concerts and music festivals to sports events and even instruction classes at surgical operation theatres).
In combination with its software suite, Studio.One makes it possible to capture and edit content with just one operator – bringing efficient video capturing within the reach of organisations of all sizes. Last week, the solution won the IABM Game Changer Award in the ‘Acquisition & Production’ category during the NAB Show in Las Vegas.
Today, capturing video at live events is a highly labour intensive process. It requires a highly specialised and sizeable team of cameramen and technicians to make sure on-site cameras capture the right things at the right time. And even if all highlights are properly captured, the director at the end of the chain can only select a singly camera view to dispatch at any time – no matter how many camera (and operators) are in the field.
AZilPix’s Studio.One changes all of that. A start-up from imec and Hasselt University, it builds on 15 years of research in video capturing and advanced pixel processing to fundamentally change how video content is captured and disseminated – thereby finding the suitable trade-off between quality, cost and ease-of-use.
“The basic premise of Studio.One is pretty simple: an array of high resolution cameras with wide angle lenses register an event from all relevant angles – without the need for human operators. Features such as camera pan, tilt and zoom are altered live or during post-production. As such, it becomes possible to capture and edit complex events with just a single operator. We are the only ones who offer this today,” said Philippe Bekaert, imec - Hasselt University, one of the co-founders of AZilPix.
“Studio.One is a readily-deployable video capturing system that comprises both the required hardware and software components in a single package. Besides its custom-built servers to process the video feeds, Studio.One comes with high-resolution cameras that can be equipped with wide-angle or fish-eye lenses to capture a very wide field of view. From a software perspective, the solution is complemented with advanced, ultra-high performance, algorithms implementing a full computational videography pipeline with monitoring tools. And it has been extended with a very easy and intuitive user interface,” added Jan Looijmans, CEO of AZilPix.
With Studio.One, the AZilPix team targets a wide variety of customers – from broadcasters and A/V rental companies to luxury hotels that host corporate and public events. Importantly, Studio.One is an open system that can easily be integrated in existing production environments. It can even be controlled remotely if operator access to the event site is undesirable (when the system is used to capture surgical interventions, for instance). Studio.One and its components have already been subjected to several field tests – capturing events such as the Main Square (rock and pop) Festival in Arras (France), the Gay Pride in Amsterdam and the ‘Dwars door Vlaanderen’ UCI World Tour bicycle race. Last week, the solution won the IABM Game Changer Award in the ‘Acquisition & Production’ category during the NAB Show in Las Vegas. According to the jury, Studio.One contains an exceptional feature set, and comes with a significant reduction in cost of production as well. They claimed that, in today’s world of remote control, AZilPix produced the ‘Mother of All Features’.
“We are using Studio.One for high-quality live broadcasts and streaming of events such as talk shows and university lectures,” said Jan Derksen, Managing Director at Digital & Media Solutions. “We opted for the Studio.One solution from AZilPix because of the quality of its cameras, its limited latency, the flexibility that comes with its open architecture, and its one-man operation. Obviously, we compared Studio.One with other systems, but none have the same level of flexibility or the open control structure. Also in terms of picture quality, no competitor comes close to what AZilPix can achieve.”
The Studio.One system is being used at the imec Technology Forum (ITF) Belgium 2017 conference (Antwerp, 16th-17th May) – to capture and broadcast the video streams in the main conference room.