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  • WCKN Broadcasts

    Hey guys,

    I joined WCKN recently due to the deteriorating state of the TV station (all of the hardware is utter garbage), and I've been working directly with the studio manager to get things back on track as much as we can.

    The mixer which powered all of the graphics and the replays died about a month after I arrived (it has a faulty power supply, and almost blew up most of the hardware in the video rack), and so we've been very creative with a portable mixer and getting some older Black Magic cards that can capture the video to do the YouTube stream (we use OBS which is why we can have the grapics/replays on YouTube and not on the BoxCast). For the boxcast - we're working with their tech support team there to see why it looks like garbage. I'm also waiting for their marketing team to get back to me on the 4K version, which is much more powerful than this tiny box we have now. I'm starting to get the impression that while our box is supposed to support 1080i/p that it doesn't. It also constantly has network problems, despite the fact that it's on a dedicated network line and I've tested that network to be very stable. If it turns out to be too much trouble, we're probably going to switch to YouTube, so long as they don't drive us nuts about the fact that music is played in the arena, as YouTube keeps trying to copyright strike the channel, beause real people never look at what goes up

    We changed the cameras to 1080i thinking it would perhaps be better to have higher resolution. We would like to hear whether people think 1080i or 720p looks better to them. The cameras can only do 720p or 1080i. If we had 1080p cameras, then everything would look far better and this wouldn't be a question.

    Regardless, we are in the process of getting quotes for proper 4K non-interlaced hardware, and hopefully we'll have some good cameras ASAP. We want them before the last games of the season, but can't make gurantees (especially since we need to go through CUSA). In the meantime, we're looking for as much positive/negative feedback as possible on the most recent streams. I want to hear if you hate them, and I want to hear if you think the quallity is an improvement.

    We appologise for the fact that there are no graphics and replays on the boxcast, but it's the best we can do at the moment.

    Thanks!

    PS. Perhaps this deserves its own thread?

  • #2
    Call RPI and ask what they do. Call the ILDN and ask what they do. It works and maybe mirroring whatever that is would help.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by daredevilcu View Post
      Call RPI and ask what they do. Call the ILDN and ask what they do. It works and maybe mirroring whatever that is would help.
      I just contacted RPI to see what they do.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by jrddunbr View Post
        Hey guys,

        I joined WCKN recently due to the deteriorating state of the TV station (all of the hardware is utter garbage), and I've been working directly with the studio manager to get things back on track as much as we can.

        The mixer which powered all of the graphics and the replays died about a month after I arrived (it has a faulty power supply, and almost blew up most of the hardware in the video rack), and so we've been very creative with a portable mixer and getting some older Black Magic cards that can capture the video to do the YouTube stream (we use OBS which is why we can have the grapics/replays on YouTube and not on the BoxCast). For the boxcast - we're working with their tech support team there to see why it looks like garbage. I'm also waiting for their marketing team to get back to me on the 4K version, which is much more powerful than this tiny box we have now. I'm starting to get the impression that while our box is supposed to support 1080i/p that it doesn't. It also constantly has network problems, despite the fact that it's on a dedicated network line and I've tested that network to be very stable. If it turns out to be too much trouble, we're probably going to switch to YouTube, so long as they don't drive us nuts about the fact that music is played in the arena, as YouTube keeps trying to copyright strike the channel, beause real people never look at what goes up

        We changed the cameras to 1080i thinking it would perhaps be better to have higher resolution. We would like to hear whether people think 1080i or 720p looks better to them. The cameras can only do 720p or 1080i. If we had 1080p cameras, then everything would look far better and this wouldn't be a question.

        Regardless, we are in the process of getting quotes for proper 4K non-interlaced hardware, and hopefully we'll have some good cameras ASAP. We want them before the last games of the season, but can't make gurantees (especially since we need to go through CUSA). In the meantime, we're looking for as much positive/negative feedback as possible on the most recent streams. I want to hear if you hate them, and I want to hear if you think the quallity is an improvement.

        We appologise for the fact that there are no graphics and replays on the boxcast, but it's the best we can do at the moment.

        Thanks!

        PS. Perhaps this deserves its own thread?
        720p is definitely better. Interlacing is only really good for broadcasting on actual TV. Otherwise, you either get interlacing lines or have to lose some quality deinterlacing the footage. Disney and Fox owned TV stations (ESPN, ABC, BTN, etc.) broadcast in 720p, and no one ever complains about it. Also, I would think that 4K hardware might be a little excessive at this point, since most people do not yet have displays which render 4K. If you were confident the equipment would last, then 4K cameras might be reasonable.

        As for YouTube or BoxCast, I would go to YouTube. The streams last weekend were much better than the ones on BoxCast (once the deinterlacing was applied and the camera zoomed in during the Harvard one). I would quit using the ice level camera for live action, it's hard to see anything. As for avoiding copyright strikes, I would ask RPI how they avoid copyright strikes on YouTube.

        Thank you for reaching out to the forum.
        Last edited by Hydra88; 02-21-2018, 11:04 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by jrddunbr View Post
          Hey guys,

          I joined WCKN recently due to the deteriorating state of the TV station (all of the hardware is utter garbage), and I've been working directly with the studio manager to get things back on track as much as we can.

          The mixer which powered all of the graphics and the replays died about a month after I arrived (it has a faulty power supply, and almost blew up most of the hardware in the video rack), and so we've been very creative with a portable mixer and getting some older Black Magic cards that can capture the video to do the YouTube stream (we use OBS which is why we can have the grapics/replays on YouTube and not on the BoxCast). For the boxcast - we're working with their tech support team there to see why it looks like garbage. I'm also waiting for their marketing team to get back to me on the 4K version, which is much more powerful than this tiny box we have now. I'm starting to get the impression that while our box is supposed to support 1080i/p that it doesn't. It also constantly has network problems, despite the fact that it's on a dedicated network line and I've tested that network to be very stable. If it turns out to be too much trouble, we're probably going to switch to YouTube, so long as they don't drive us nuts about the fact that music is played in the arena, as YouTube keeps trying to copyright strike the channel, beause real people never look at what goes up

          We changed the cameras to 1080i thinking it would perhaps be better to have higher resolution. We would like to hear whether people think 1080i or 720p looks better to them. The cameras can only do 720p or 1080i. If we had 1080p cameras, then everything would look far better and this wouldn't be a question.

          Regardless, we are in the process of getting quotes for proper 4K non-interlaced hardware, and hopefully we'll have some good cameras ASAP. We want them before the last games of the season, but can't make gurantees (especially since we need to go through CUSA). In the meantime, we're looking for as much positive/negative feedback as possible on the most recent streams. I want to hear if you hate them, and I want to hear if you think the quallity is an improvement.

          We appologise for the fact that there are no graphics and replays on the boxcast, but it's the best we can do at the moment.

          Thanks!

          PS. Perhaps this deserves its own thread?
          MY 2 Cents...I would approach the Athletic Director or Assoc Director that oversees Mens/Womens hockey to make a presentation to them as well as the Knightclub. Maybe this weekend would be a great time as many family will be in town. i.e. a Barben Room presentation before games???

          A GREAT not Good Video stream would enhance the overall experience for families of players at CU. aka, another recruit tool.

          Best of luck!

          Comment


          • #6
            Nice to finally see someone from WCKN reach out to us. Been a while...heck, I think the last WCKN person to reach out to the Roundtable was...well, me, when I ran the hockey broadcasts.

            As a former director at WCKN, and being someone with experience in the area, two things stand out: poor camera blocking and inconsistent broadcast quality. You should train your camera operators to get as few empty seats in the shot as possible, with the focus on the ice, while keeping the constant score graphic placement in mind. On the note of graphics, they're in dire need of an overhaul...they're much too large, for one (in the HD era, there's no need for such large score graphics anymore...smaller is better), and second, they look like they were quickly thrown together in MSPaint. I realize that the character generator at WCKN sucks...but perhaps you can convince the athletics department to help you pay for a proper system? Better yet...perhaps you can a student or a group of students to design one for course credit? At the very least, take a look at some other broadcast sports graphics and draw some inspiration on them. Additionally, the cameras need to be properly focused and white balance adjustments need to be made before every broadcast.

            Regarding the Boxcast vs. Youtube debate, I present a third option: Twitch. From experience, it tends to be more reliable, and they're not as bad about false copyright strikes as Youtube is. They've also begun streaming more major sports as of late, and aren't just for videogames anymore. I also find XSplit to be more user-friendly when it comes to streaming versus OBS, and with far more features...though you have to pay for a license to use it (it's not expensive, though, and the software itself is free).

            Also, anything interlaced sucks. 1080p is ideal, but given the choice between 1080i and 720p, definitely choose 720p. Don't cheap out on cameras either...not all HD cameras are created equal. I don't think 4K is necessary, 1080p will suffice...and if you're having issues with network connections, the insane amount of bandwidth required for 4K streaming won't help matters at all.

            I'm also in the minority who would much prefer to listen to the current WCKN announce team over the B99.3 team. I don't understand how anyone can tolerate Mike Vaillancourt's screaming into the microphone causing the audio to constantly peak. I understand the reasoning behind going with the radio crew for streaming over the students (I was one of the ones around when the decision was made)...perhaps having alternate audio feeds available (WCKN/B99.3/visiting crew) could be possible?

            I don't know how much alumni assistance you guys want, but if you want some help, I live nearby, know what I'm doing, and would be willing to help out. We all want to see Clarkson have the best possible broadcast possible, and as a proud WCKN alumnus, despite how hard I've been on them over the past few years, I still want to see them succeed.
            WCKN Executive Hockey Producer emeritus (served 2009-10)

            Comment


            • #7
              My 2 cents, I enjoy Mike Vaillancourts call of the games, screaming and all. I also enjoy Kevin Carlin's broadcasts of the womens games and with the issues the mens games of late. I guess the school has cheaped out in proving a color commentator for Mike. I really liked Josh Bartell as the color guy with Bob Ahfeld. I still prefer having Mike on the mens games. Just my 2 cents.

              As far as the picture, I just look at the picture quality that RPI and Quinny give on their home broadcasts and think if they can do it so should Clarkson.
              Vicb

              Fan of the 2014 , 2017 & 2018 NC$$ Women's Div I Hockey National Champions http://letsgotech.com/roundtable/cor...om/lgtanim.gif
              If Union can do it, why can't CCT http://letsgotech.com/roundtable/cor...om/lgtanim.gif

              Comment


              • #8
                Josh Bartell now has additional responsibilities as the Director of Cheel Arena. For what its worth, unlike Bob Ahfeld, Mike V. does not work for Clarkson, but rather, Martz Communications Group, the company that owns B99.3. So its more likely that Martz is the one cheaping out and not providing an additional voice...

                Also, I might be biased towards Bob since I've worked with him and have known him for years. Hell, he was instrumental in getting me interested in Clarkson hockey to begin with at a young age since he would hook my dad- who worked with him at the old WPDM- up with free tickets...
                Last edited by cu2010; 02-21-2018, 06:21 PM.
                WCKN Executive Hockey Producer emeritus (served 2009-10)

                Comment


                • #9
                  The Taco Bell shtick is seriously getting old. It's not that funny to start with and it's incredibly unprofessional.

                  Speaking of unprofessional, if one of the announcers has to say that they were distracted from a play by a tweet, they are doing something very wrong.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I gave up on listening to WCKN announcers awhile ago, but does the play-by-play guy still say the offensive team is "forechecking" when they carry the puck into the offensive zone? He needs to repeat his Hockey 101 class. It's nice that the Clarkson kids have an outlet to broadcast, do play-by-play, learn the technical stuff, play with the camera equipment, etc., but men's and women's hockey are (well were) both top-five ranked D-1 programs and the games should be broadcast as such. Broken record I know.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What was with the audio last night? Why was there a constant loop of some background noise and the goal horn in the background?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FireKnight View Post
                        What was with the audio last night? Why was there a constant loop of some background noise and the goal horn in the background?
                        I watched on YouTube. There wasn't a problem for me.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm not sure how the quote feature works, but this is in response to everything since I last was here.

                          RPI and I have been in contact, and they're willing to help us so that's a plus

                          ===========

                          hydra88:

                          We moved to 720p for the streams this weekend. It was substantially better, so we're going to stick with it until we have newer hardware.

                          We're planning a move to 4K, but only internally. We plan to downsample the output to 1080p for the streams (I've been told this makes it look substantially better).

                          It appears that BoxCast isn't as much of an option as we originally thought. Certain broadcasts (for example, I believe next weekend for either the mens or the womens game) are required by *somebody* to be ticketed and we can't stream directly to YouTube or any other service that isn't Boxcast.. but they didn't say anything about recording it and playing it back later. We still are not clear on the details of that, so when I have more information, I will be more able to make a decision.

                          cu2010:

                          Good to see WCKN alumni input

                          We're instructing the camera operators not to show the stands unless they are full, but they do make mistakes (such as being too wide). We're really pushing to fix that. More recently, the mens games have been packed so we're not as concerned about that. Other input sources also told us to zoom in until we can see the numbers on their shirts, so that also mitigates the problem.

                          The graphics are going to be completely overhauled for next season. We also absolutely hate them. Smaller graphics and constant score graphics are planned. Hopes are we can have a student write some robust software to pull that directly from the jumbotron in the arena and dump that somewhere we can pull it in for graphics, that way it's automatic and correct - we did have problems this past few games where the graphic wasn't updated in a timely manner (and such, whenever we could man the camera, we had the ice cam point to the scoreboard).

                          White balance and focus on the cameras is an interesting one. The particular cameras we're using are balanced and focused and brightness is fixed at the beginning of the game, but for no apparent reason, they gradually loose all three over the game. Brightness is a bit difficult in the first of three parts because the lights are slowly coming back to full brightness in the arena, and focus is a pain with the cameras we have. White balance is affected mostly by those two factors, particularly the white balance looks bad when the lighting is bad.

                          Twicth may work out better than YouTube in the long run. Whenever I think of Twitch, I think of PC gamers, but I never go there anyways so I don't know what is there. Perhaps doing streams to Boxcast, YouTube, and Twitch at the same time is feasible. Again, read up higher on the boxcast ticketing problem.

                          I heard about xsplit, but I've heard it's more buggy than OBS from people who use it.. but I've never used xsplit, so I don't personally know.

                          We technically have the ability to get the B99.3 input I believe, but I'm not sure who speaks it right now. Nobody in the current studio really wants to deal with Mike's audio, it sounds like garbage and it's been claimed to be "impossible" to not get his audio to clip. I'm not even sure if he's around (but I don't pay attention to who is in the press box). Somewhere I thought I recall hearing that he left last semester, but I could be totally wrong, I don't know these things.

                          If you want to help, contact me via my username @gmail.com, and introduce yourself None of the current company can currently identify you.

                          hydra88, others:

                          I also was quite tired of hearing that Taco Bell baloney. I didnt hear the stream directly while they were doing that, but ClearCom (our intercom) was completely cluttered with it and other inappropriate conversations that we will be discussing at our next meeting. It is a bunch of college students, but they should really be more professional, I absolutely agree with you there. The last thing we need is a cease and desist. It is worth noting however that Cheel Arena is sponsored by Taco Bell.

                          FireKnight:

                          Were you listening to the Boxcast or YouTube stream? I don't believe we had an audio problem, but we did have OBS hang almost once every game (that's to be sorted out this week), so I wouldn't doubt it for the YouTube stream. As far as having that problem on Boxcast, I can't help you there except that perhaps your internet connection is insufficient? We can't control how the audio goes on the boxcast besides dumping the arena audio directly into their little box, and it's all analog lines directly to that point, so no strange looping can occur on our end for BoxCast.

                          =========

                          Thanks everyone for the input!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I was watching whatever is on the Clarkson Athletics website; that's the only way I know how to watch. I was on a commercial FIOS Internet connection (hard wired computer to Cisco switch, not wireless). I don't think the ISP would be the issue. I had to turn the volume all the way up to hear the Chicken's broadcasters and in the background there was a white noise type sound at all times. Then, about every 2 minutes, you would hear what sounded like the Clarkson goal horn and some faint crowd noise. This happened before the whistle had actually blown in the broadcast as I was watching it (I missed the opening horn and no goals had been scored). The noise remained even after I left to do some work, turned the game off, and came back and went back to the website.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by FireKnight View Post
                              I was watching whatever is on the Clarkson Athletics website; that's the only way I know how to watch. I was on a commercial FIOS Internet connection (hard wired computer to Cisco switch, not wireless). I don't think the ISP would be the issue. I had to turn the volume all the way up to hear the Chicken's broadcasters and in the background there was a white noise type sound at all times. Then, about every 2 minutes, you would hear what sounded like the Clarkson goal horn and some faint crowd noise. This happened before the whistle had actually blown in the broadcast as I was watching it (I missed the opening horn and no goals had been scored). The noise remained even after I left to do some work, turned the game off, and came back and went back to the website.
                              Probably the only game this be good for left this year is the NCAA women's quarterfinal (as the ECAC will control the other remaining broadcasts for both the men's and women's teams), but all the games the last two weeks have been streamed here on YouTube. The past weeks' streams are archived so you can check out the difference (particularly this past week).
                              This is the official Youtube Channel of WCKN Television at Clarkson University. We are please to help the Potsdam Community as well as the Clarkson students ...

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