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Unread 12-06-2017, 05:30 PM
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[FRC Blog] Regional Webcasts and the Kickoff Broadcast

Posted on the FRC Blog, 12/6/2017: https://www.firstinspires.org/roboti...koff-broadcast

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Regional Webcasts and the Kickoff Broadcast
Written by Alex Herreid, Software Engineer, FIRST Robotics Competition


Embedded Twitch Video: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/207311003

Hey FIRST fans!

Take a look at the video at the top of this blog - Dr. Jacob Komar (one of our Volunteers of the Year and a member of the team implementing our Webcasting program) and the FIRST staff at TwitchCon recorded this video a little while back. We want to take this opportunity to update you on the webcasting program for FIRST Robotics Competition!



Last February, Frank mentioned our pilot webcast program in this blog. Eleven events (on two routes) made up our pilot program for FIRST STEAMWORKS. The feedback we’ve received on the program has been overwhelmingly positive, and we’re very grateful for the events and volunteers that made last year’s webcasts possible. For FIRST POWER UP, we’re thrilled to be expanding to seven routes, covering 40 regionals, which is about 75% of the ones in the United States! If you’re interesting in volunteering to be our Webcast Operator at your regional, be sure to contact your Volunteer Coordinator.



As we mentioned in that February blog, depending on internet availability at each venue, our webcasts consist of a multi camera view in addition to a “program” view. The program view is generally similar to what is shown on the audience screen at the event, while the multi-camera view shows each camera in a quadrant on their own. To give you an idea, here’s some sample clips that were taken from the same match; the program view, as well as the quad view.



Each event will be assigned two channels on Twitch, the lower numbered channel will feature the “program” view, while the higher numbered channel will carry the “quad” view. The exact assignments of events to channels will be announced in the coming weeks. We’ll be posting the channel assignments online at https://frc-events.firstinspires.org as well as adding them to our API. You’ll be able to watch and chat along right inside the event result pages or by using the Twitch website, desktop or mobile applications.



We’ll continue to be broadcasting our largest events, like FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff and the FIRST Championship, on our primary Twitch home, twitch.tv/firstinspires, during 2018. On this channel, starting at 10am Eastern time on January 6, 2018, you’ll have your first look at FIRST POWER UP. The broadcast will include portions that are live from the official field, and our world-famous* field tour videos will run immediately following the game reveal. We’re also going to run some pre-show content, so you’ll have a chance to verify your connection and volume. If you want to test your connection between now and the big day, try watching the videos linked earlier in this blog. If you can see and hear those videos, you should be good to go. As an aside, there will be no broadcast from the Founder’s Reception this season.



If you want to make sure you’re in the loop on everything FIRST does on Twitch, please consider following, or subscribing to, our main channel at twitch.tv/firstinspires. Following is free, and offers some basic benefits like receiving push notifications when we go live. Subscribing, which starts at $4.99 per month, offers some extended benefits like custom emotes to use across Twitch. FIRST receives a portion of all subscriptions, and if you have Amazon Prime you get a free subscription each month, which means you can sub to firstinspires for no money out of pocket! To be clear, you do not need to do either of these in order to see our content, including Kickoff. Following or subscribing are completely optional.



We hope you enjoy our expanded coverage of the regionals, and that you’re as excited for January as we are!



Alex



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Re: [FRC Blog] Regional Webcasts and the Kickoff Broadcast

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Originally Posted by FRC Blog
If you’re interesting in volunteering to be our Webcast Operator at your regional, be sure to contact your Volunteer Coordinator.
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Originally Posted by FIRST Website
Must be post-high school (minimum age of 18 at time of service)
Finally, a position that doesnt require me to be 10 years older than I actually am.
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Re: [FRC Blog] Regional Webcasts and the Kickoff Broadcast

I hope they add events to the routes that were in dire need of production updates. Watching some events last year was a challenge
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Re: [FRC Blog] Regional Webcasts and the Kickoff Broadcast

Would have been nice to post the list of events.....
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Re: [FRC Blog] Regional Webcasts and the Kickoff Broadcast

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Would have been nice to post the list of events.....
There's a nonzero chance they don't know it yet. Aside from planning out route logistics, I'm sure they'd rather stick these seven webcasting rigs on the routes that need them most (i.e. the ones that have the least events capable of producing their own webcasts).
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Re: [FRC Blog] Regional Webcasts and the Kickoff Broadcast

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Originally Posted by bdaroz View Post
Would have been nice to post the list of events.....
I hope, I hope, I hope with all my heart that NY regionals are in that 75%. Last I checked (a couple weeks ago), we still can't extract Tech Valley Regional 2017 videos from their awful streaming platform.
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Re: [FRC Blog] Regional Webcasts and the Kickoff Broadcast

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I hope, I hope, I hope with all my heart that NY regionals are in that 75%. Last I checked (a couple weeks ago), we still can't extract Tech Valley Regional 2017 videos from their awful streaming platform.
Mind linking?
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Re: [FRC Blog] Regional Webcasts and the Kickoff Broadcast

Am I the only one who only really cares about having a full-size, full field, with score overlay stream?

If you're gonna run 2 streams great, but why not have your abysmal, screen switching stream as the first, and the full field as the second? I don't understand why you'd want the "program" feed on both. If you have a high quality full field stream you don't really need the close up feeds on the quad view. I just don't get it.
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Re: [FRC Blog] Regional Webcasts and the Kickoff Broadcast

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Am I the only one who only really cares about having a full-size, full field, with score overlay stream?
No, you’re not alone.
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Re: [FRC Blog] Regional Webcasts and the Kickoff Broadcast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clint Ott View Post
If you're gonna run 2 streams great, but why not have your abysmal, screen switching stream as the first, and the full field as the second? I don't understand why you'd want the "program" feed on both. If you have a high quality full field stream you don't really need the close up feeds on the quad view. I just don't get it.
Personally, I find those when theyre done correctly to be really good for having a good feel of the game progression and really upping the intensity for the viewer, kinda feeds the excitement. You wouldnt put a camera on top of say, Daytona and just watch that. Thats boring! You have to switch up the views and keep pace with whats going on. Thats one of the big issues with some of these streams, they cant keep up.

If most events had better systems in general, I'd go the route PNW DCMP did and just have 2 streams, one with all the angles and one full field, but for most events thats asking a bit too much.

Edit: Quad views are whack. Get rid of those. I was talking something like this instead of the full field view.
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Re: [FRC Blog] Regional Webcasts and the Kickoff Broadcast

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Am I the only one who only really cares about having a full-size, full field, with score overlay stream?
I'm available for hire.
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Re: [FRC Blog] Regional Webcasts and the Kickoff Broadcast

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Personally, I find those when theyre done correctly to be really good for having a good feel of the game progression and really upping the intensity for the viewer, kinda feeds the excitement. You wouldnt put a camera on top of say, Daytona and just watch that. Thats boring! You have to switch up the views and keep pace with whats going on. Thats one of the big issues with some of these streams, they cant keep up.

If most events had better systems in general, I'd go the route PNW DCMP did and just have 2 streams, one with all the angles and one full field, but for most events thats asking a bit too much.

Edit: Quad views are whack. Get rid of those. I was talking something like this instead of the full field view.
So... When have you actually seen them "done correctly"? That steam you linked of the PNW final match is as bad as almost all the rest of these "bounce-around" streams I've seen. The camera switching looks like it's actually programmed on some kind of timer because there is absolutely NO LOGIC to when they cut to or away from any specific action!!!

If they actually had a director who was intelligent enough about the game and what action was really meaningful, then there's a chance they could pull this off. However, EVEN at the Half-Championship Level, the view-switching was unwatchable (even discounting the stroke-inducing pace at which the views were swapped).

PLEASE just give us a full-field view and let us decide what to watch!!!
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Re: [FRC Blog] Regional Webcasts and the Kickoff Broadcast

PLEASE just give us a full-field view and let us decide what to watch!!!

Very well said, Mr. Ott.
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Re: [FRC Blog] Regional Webcasts and the Kickoff Broadcast

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So... When have you actually seen them "done correctly"? That steam you linked of the PNW final match is as bad as almost all the rest of these "bounce-around" streams I've seen.
Not Disagreeing. Ill link some better ones (like this, this, this and this good?)

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Originally Posted by mott View Post
The camera switching looks like it's actually programmed on some kind of timer because there is absolutely NO LOGIC to when they cut to or away from any specific action!!!

If they actually had a director who was intelligent enough about the game and what action was really meaningful, then there's a chance they could pull this off.
I do want to point out that PNW has it done with actual people (Joe, one of the A/V leads for PNW and a mentor for 997, frequents CD) and thats a pretty dickish thing to be saying, no matter the quality of any FRC stream. I highly doubt most streams are done on timers, as most streams are done with a GoPro in a position that tries to get most of the field anyways.

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Originally Posted by mott View Post
EVEN at the Half-Championship Level, the view-switching was unwatchable (even discounting the stroke-inducing pace at which the views were swapped).
Fairly sure this was contracted out. Nothing anyone could do there.

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PLEASE just give us a full-field view and let us decide what to watch!!!
We arent the only audience though. Theres families, schools, sponsors, and more that are also looking to watch, and theyre looking for an interesting experience, not the optimal scouting experience. Not saying a full field view only is bad, its just theres a lot to gain from expanding from that.
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Re: [FRC Blog] Regional Webcasts and the Kickoff Broadcast

Quote:
Originally Posted by mott View Post
So... When have you actually seen them "done correctly"? That steam you linked of the PNW final match is as bad as almost all the rest of these "bounce-around" streams I've seen. The camera switching looks like it's actually programmed on some kind of timer because there is absolutely NO LOGIC to when they cut to or away from any specific action!!!

If they actually had a director who was intelligent enough about the game and what action was really meaningful, then there's a chance they could pull this off. However, EVEN at the Half-Championship Level, the view-switching was unwatchable (even discounting the stroke-inducing pace at which the views were swapped).

PLEASE just give us a full-field view and let us decide what to watch!!!
I'm one of the head A/V people for the PNW, I agree with you completely! District championships was a little rough, and we're looking into a better direction by the director. However, at the same time, this sport isn't nearly as easy to view as, say, football. With football, you have one ball to watch. With FRC, you have 6 robots that are all doing different tasks. This makes it extremely difficult for the tech director (the person switching) to decided where to switch.

With all of that said, we strive to be one of the best A/V groups for the FRC, and we're continuously improving. Oh, and by the way, for the large events (like DCMP), we have a separate stream that has the full field non-stop :-)
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