Archiving Regionals Video 2009

Last year we saw match footage from 32/42 (76%) Regionals, which was an increase over the previous year. But we can do better. It is still my goal to see every match of every Regional recorded, every year it gets easier and easier to do, and I think this is the year that anyone can do it. To make this happen I am going to look for a team of two other people to help me organize this. Our job will be to organize volunteers for every regional, spread the required information about uploading the video, share the information about how to record and parse the video, remind volunteers to record and upload the video, and organize the parsing of the video if required. If you are interested in helping me out, please PM or email me.

If you are interested in voluteering to record a regional please state so in this thread, and feel free to add your name to this list. I ask anyone willing to help me keep track of this list just update it by copying the last one, adding the new names, and pasting it into your post surrounded by ““CODE”]” text… “”/CODE"]" without the quotes.

**Regional                                          Volunteer**
Week 1
BAE Systems Granite State Regional 
Buckeye Regional     
Greater Kansas City Regional
Midwest Regional 
New Jersey Regional 
Oklahoma City Regional 
Washington DC Regional

Week 2
Boston Regional 
Finger Lakes Regional                           
Oregon Regional 
San Diego Regional   
New York City Regional

Week 3
Dallas Regional
Florida Regional 
Los Angeles Regional      
Peachtree Regional 
Pittsburgh Regional 
Silicon Valley Regional     
Wisconsin Regional 

Week 4
Israel Regional   
Arizona Regional
Bayou Regional 
Boilermaker Regional    
Chesapeake Regional 
NASA / VCU Regional 
Philadelphia Regional
St. Louis Regional 
Waterloo Regional                            Jonathan Norris (2809)                       

Week 5
Colorado Regional 
Connecticut Regional 
Greater Toronto Regional                     Jonathan Norris (2809)
Hawaii Regional 
Las Vegas Regional 
Lone Star Regional    
Microsoft Seattle Regional 
Palmetto Regional 
Sacramento Regional
SBPLI Long Island Regional 

Week 6
Michigan State Championship
Minnesota 10000 Regional 
Minnesota North Star Regional 


How To Record
This is the most often asked question, and finnaly I have a simple answer for everyone. the Pinnacle Video Transfer, its a $99 ($95 on amazon, I’ve seen it for $70 on ebay) device that records a component video and audio input right to an external hard drive at the push of a button in glorious h.264.

If you are looking for a more low cost solution (requiring a computer, and someone to watch the computer…) check out last year’s thread.

As for where to capture the video from, FIRST at all its Regionals provides a station with about 20 outputs where you can hook right into the main scoreboard video feed. We prefer this feed over you recording the matches with a camcorder, FIRST hires a professional company at every regional to tape the matches.

Parsing and Cutting Up the Video Into Individual Matches
If you really don’t have time to do this after recording a regional, please contact us and we will instruct you where to upload the raw video.

This can be done with whatever video editing program you would like, every windows machine comes with windows movie maker (I think Vista does… I’m a mac user) and every Mac comes with iMovie. As for the output video and naming standards please see below!

Standards for Parsing:

  • DO NOT include the announcers introduction, we are just looking for the robot action.
  • End the video once the play has stopped, if you like you can cut in the final score (this is a bit of a pain, and TBA already has it listed on their site anyway).

Video Format Standards

  • Format: MPEG4 or H264 (.mp4, .mpv, or .mov are all acceptable containers). WMV is acceptable, but for reasons explained below not favored
  • File Size: 15-25 Mb per file, this roughly a bitrate of: 1000-1250 kb/s, with an audio bitrate of: 128 kb/s.
  • Video Resolution: recommended 640X480, acceptable 320X240
  • HTTP Streaming: when encoding the video to its final format of MPEG4 or h264 enable http streaming (for most encoders it will be an option). This will allow anyone with a smart phone, iPhone, or iPod touch to stream the matches and watch them directly on their handset. :cool:

Naming Standards
Check out this post from last year for naming standards

as for uploading you will be contacted by myself or one of the other volunteers helping me with detail of how to upload it to The Blue Alliance (TBA) and SOAP.

I am sure the TBA and SOAP people will chime in at some point with their plans for this season.

**Regional                                          Volunteer**
Week 1
BAE Systems Granite State Regional 
Buckeye Regional     
Greater Kansas City Regional
Midwest Regional 
New Jersey Regional 
Oklahoma City Regional 
Washington DC Regional

Week 2
Boston Regional 
Finger Lakes Regional                           
Oregon Regional 
San Diego Regional   
New York City Regional

Week 3
Dallas Regional
Florida Regional 
Los Angeles Regional      
Peachtree Regional 
Pittsburgh Regional 
Silicon Valley Regional                   Martin Taylor (100)
Wisconsin Regional 

Week 4
Israel Regional   
Arizona Regional
Bayou Regional 
Boilermaker Regional    
Chesapeake Regional 
NASA / VCU Regional 
Philadelphia Regional
St. Louis Regional 
Waterloo Regional                            Jonathan Norris (2809)                       

Week 5
Colorado Regional 
Connecticut Regional 
Greater Toronto Regional                     Jonathan Norris (2809)
Hawaii Regional 
Las Vegas Regional 
Lone Star Regional    
Microsoft Seattle Regional 
Palmetto Regional 
Sacramento Regional                              Martin Taylor (100)
SBPLI Long Island Regional 

Week 6
Michigan State Championship
Minnesota 10000 Regional 
Minnesota North Star Regional 


Yeah I don’t know about this whole “video capture thing”…

Me and my family have been planing to bring a hard-disk camera (24 hours of memory) and record the matches. We’ll take turns turning it on and off. We’ll set up a stationary tri-pod with a good view of the feild.

We did this for the offseason event Cal-Games and it seemed to work pretty well. Saved me the trouble of editing footage (I can’t believe people actually do that… you guys must be VERY dedicated :eek:).

I’ll be doing Davis and SVR

Yeah about those Cal-Games vids… I don’t see them!!! Greg!!! :mad:

As a viewer of match videos, I find it very annoying when the score is not shown on the video. Sometimes TBA is wrong, sometimes it is blank, sometimes you’re watching a video elsewhere.

Now, I know I’m contributing 0 work and asking people to do more… but please :smiley:

Would it be a better idea just to upload it to Youtube?
With their new “Watch in HD” feature and a 1 GB per video cap, it provides virtually unlimited space, allowing for excellent quality.

If every match was uploaded in full HD (ideal situation), and was just over 300mb each, that would add up to almost a petabyte of video footage. (42 events x 70 matches each on average)

All I’m saying is instead of having The Blue Alliance host all of the videos themselves, why not let Youtube do it for them.
The youtube videos could even be embedded into the individual pages on TBA for convinience.

I would have to say for the purposes of online viewing a recording of the FIRST video feed is preferred. Mainly because they are able to get many camera angles, include real time scoring, team numbers, match number, match time, and match results. It just works much better to have the FIRST feed for online flash video viewing. But I guess we will take what we can.

As for parsing, it really doesn’t take that long. I’ve got it down to maybe 2 hours per regional, and most of the time I am doing something else at the same time.

On another note I welcome multiple people to record each regional. It is a good backup, and we can organize the splitting of the parsing up between multiple people.

Well if you find a solution that can record HD video cheaply, then go ahead. Another issue is that all we get from the FIRST feed is a simple component video and audio connection, no HD there. So until FIRST changes their video production to HD (or the companies that they hire do), then we won’t be seeing HD video.

The thing that is great about TBA is how the system organizes the matches, and allows you to search a team number and pull up all their matches. I guess they could take a youtube link and embed it in their pages, but from the small understanding I have of the under-the-hood code that could take some re-working. But unlike youtube, you have the option on TBA to download each match in their higher quality format, and not just watch the smaller flash video recording.

Regional                                          Volunteer
Week 1
BAE Systems Granite State Regional              Kyle Fenton (121)
Buckeye Regional     
Greater Kansas City Regional
Midwest Regional 
New Jersey Regional 
Oklahoma City Regional 
Washington DC Regional

Week 2
Boston Regional 
Finger Lakes Regional                           
Oregon Regional 
San Diego Regional   
New York City Regional

Week 3
Dallas Regional
Florida Regional 
Los Angeles Regional      
Peachtree Regional 
Pittsburgh Regional 
Silicon Valley Regional                   Martin Taylor (100)
Wisconsin Regional 

Week 4
Israel Regional   
Arizona Regional
Bayou Regional 
Boilermaker Regional    
Chesapeake Regional 
NASA / VCU Regional 
Philadelphia Regional
St. Louis Regional 
Waterloo Regional                            Jonathan Norris (2809)                       

Week 5
Colorado Regional 
Connecticut Regional 
Greater Toronto Regional                     Jonathan Norris (2809)
Hawaii Regional 
Las Vegas Regional 
Lone Star Regional    
Microsoft Seattle Regional 
Palmetto Regional 
Sacramento Regional                              Martin Taylor (100)/D Green (701)
SBPLI Long Island Regional 

Week 6
Michigan State Championship
Minnesota 10000 Regional 
Minnesota North Star Regional

Sign me up for the BAE GSR Regional.
Quick Question, last year The Blue Alliance (TBA) used a flash based format & SOAP 108 mainly used WMVs. Are they both going to switch over to a MPEG-4 format this year?

As a viewer of match videos, I find it very annoying when the score is not shown on the video. Sometimes TBA is wrong, sometimes it is blank, sometimes you’re watching a video elsewhere.

Now, I know I’m contributing 0 work and asking people to do more… but please

This is actually quite a time consuming task to do. This requires to parse out the middle by aligning the player heads between the end of the match and the score. When you have 100+ matches, it becomes really time consuming and ultimately not worth it.

I’ll help with the Sac feed - I did it back in 2007. Having more the one person responsible for the parsing would be great. I’d be willing to parse Friday matches and maybe Martin would do the Saturday matches?

Storage space is not the only barrier to full HD video. First the feed that you are pulling from is not HD (as far as i know at least). Second, the greater the resolution, the longer the encode times are for the videos.

I would definitely have to hear what others think about this, especially the TBA and SOAP folks before I hop on-board.

EDIT: I also just went and checked out YouTube’s Batch Uploader, from what I can see it requires a title and description be entered for every upload. For the 95 videos my team archived from the MN regional last year the extra effort would become significant. I will be testing the upload speed of the batch uploader shortly to see if that would be a factor as well.

I would be glad to help parse any regionals if the person recording doesn’t have time to do so. This is a tentative commitment based on availability, but I did parse quite a few this past year so they don’t really take me all that long.

Vikesrock,

Your right. We are years away for being able to get HD video (even 720p) onto websites for free. Besides the bandwidth and storage problems, the fact is that most average computers these days can’t handle MPEG-4 HD that well. FIRST doesn’t even have widescreen SD (16:9 ratio) available in its feeds.

Actually TBA takes whatever the uploader gives us, and we then encode it to flash. Last year it was about 50-50 MPEG-4 vs. WMV, I am hoping to see more MPEG-4 this year. If I can convince people to enable http streaming when encoding MPEG-4 or h.264, we can all have FIRST matches streamed to our smartphones/iPhones/iPods.

I’ll see if I have time over the break to set up a script to convert .wmv to h.264 with my ubuntu box. Then maybe I can just rip everything on TBA to h.264, so once someone builds a nice iPhone app (the mobile TBA site works well enough…), we can see matches on our iPhones and iPods.

**Regional                                          Volunteer**
Week 1
BAE Systems Granite State Regional        Kyle Fenton (121)
Buckeye Regional     
Greater Kansas City Regional
Midwest Regional 
New Jersey Regional 
Oklahoma City Regional 
Washington DC Regional

Week 2
Boston Regional 
Finger Lakes Regional                           
Oregon Regional 
San Diego Regional   
New York City Regional

Week 3
Dallas Regional
Florida Regional 
Los Angeles Regional      
Peachtree Regional 
Pittsburgh Regional 
Silicon Valley Regional                   Martin Taylor (100)
Wisconsin Regional 

Week 4
Israel Regional   
Arizona Regional
Bayou Regional 
Boilermaker Regional    
Chesapeake Regional 
NASA / VCU Regional 
Philadelphia Regional
St. Louis Regional 
Waterloo Regional                         Jonathan Norris (2809)                       

Week 5
Colorado Regional 
Connecticut Regional 
Greater Toronto Regional                  Jonathan Norris (2809)
Hawaii Regional 
Las Vegas Regional 
Lone Star Regional    
Microsoft Seattle Regional 
Palmetto Regional 
Sacramento Regional                       Martin Taylor (100)/D Green (701)
SBPLI Long Island Regional 

Week 6
Michigan State Championship
Minnesota 10000 Regional 
Minnesota North Star Regional 


IMO the camera angles are annoying. They often miss the action, and usually only focus on certain teams. Yes, those are usually the most exciting teams to watch… but what if you’re showing vids to a sponsor?

“See!! See!! Right there? That was OUR robot! yes, yes I’ll rewind it…”

As for matches, teams and scores I’ll record those too.

We’ll work something out Mr. G. Although I think splitting it between the two days is a good idea.


Regional                                          Volunteer
Week 1
BAE Systems Granite State Regional        Kyle Fenton (121)
Buckeye Regional     
Greater Kansas City Regional
Midwest Regional 
New Jersey Regional 
Oklahoma City Regional 
Washington DC Regional

Week 2
Boston Regional 
Finger Lakes Regional                           
Oregon Regional                          James Byrne (360)
San Diego Regional   
New York City Regional

Week 3
Dallas Regional
Florida Regional 
Los Angeles Regional      
Peachtree Regional 
Pittsburgh Regional 
Silicon Valley Regional                   Martin Taylor (100)
Wisconsin Regional 

Week 4
Israel Regional   
Arizona Regional
Bayou Regional 
Boilermaker Regional    
Chesapeake Regional 
NASA / VCU Regional 
Philadelphia Regional
St. Louis Regional 
Waterloo Regional                         Jonathan Norris (2809)                       

Week 5
Colorado Regional 
Connecticut Regional 
Greater Toronto Regional                  Jonathan Norris (2809)
Hawaii Regional 
Las Vegas Regional 
Lone Star Regional    
Microsoft Seattle Regional                James Byrne (360)
Palmetto Regional 
Sacramento Regional                       Martin Taylor (100)/D Green (701)
SBPLI Long Island Regional 

Week 6
Michigan State Championship
Minnesota 10000 Regional 
Minnesota North Star Regional

Also for anyone that is interested I have made a website that is run in php for doing this exact thing. I have a system set up that is very easy to implement and if you can get a internet connection at the regional you can almost have your videos up in real time. We are still doing the final testing of the system but we have so far tested it at FTC and FLL in WA. It has worked well and the feed back we are getting is positive.

Let me know if any one has and interest. I will be happy to go over how the system works or any questions.

Best of all I donate the server space and bandwidth, so there will be no cost besides the computer that will record the video (you can bring your personal computer if you want).

Just a small correction for the benefit of people who may be thinking about doing this: FIRST provides a composite video connection, not component. You don’t need component-capable hardware to record matches at an event (unless they change something this year, which I doubt).

NYC: should be easy for me, being Fri-Sun.
LI: I’ll list as maybe.
Any ideas how to get the Michigan districts?


Regional                                          Volunteer
Week 1
BAE Systems Granite State Regional        Kyle Fenton (121)
Buckeye Regional     
Greater Kansas City Regional
Midwest Regional 
New Jersey Regional 
Oklahoma City Regional 
Washington DC Regional

Week 2
Boston Regional 
Finger Lakes Regional                           
Oregon Regional                          James Byrne (360)
San Diego Regional   
New York City Regional                   Kenny Ardizzone

Week 3
Dallas Regional
Florida Regional 
Los Angeles Regional      
Peachtree Regional 
Pittsburgh Regional 
Silicon Valley Regional                   Martin Taylor (100)
Wisconsin Regional 

Week 4
Israel Regional   
Arizona Regional
Bayou Regional 
Boilermaker Regional    
Chesapeake Regional 
NASA / VCU Regional 
Philadelphia Regional
St. Louis Regional 
Waterloo Regional                         Jonathan Norris (2809)                       

Week 5
Colorado Regional 
Connecticut Regional 
Greater Toronto Regional                  Jonathan Norris (2809)
Hawaii Regional 
Las Vegas Regional 
Lone Star Regional    
Microsoft Seattle Regional                James Byrne (360)
Palmetto Regional 
Sacramento Regional                       Martin Taylor (100)/D Green (701)
SBPLI Long Island Regional                Kenny Ardizzone, maybe

Week 6
Michigan State Championship
Minnesota 10000 Regional 
Minnesota North Star Regional

Fyi- For an event to add HD capability the cost goes up considerably. It’s not just the camera rental, but the mixers and other equipment behind the scenes have to be upgraded. I believe FIRST has only done this at the championship and for internal purposes. Never, to my knowledge, have they had an “hd breakout box” the way they’ve done so for composite. 640x480 capture has proved a nice balance between resolution and filesize.

Team 39 did HD on their own last year, i.e. from the stands. 1440x1080 @ 6.8Mbps. Files were abt 140MB. The problem I had though was playback on my laptop was very choppy- likely the disc not keeping up with the bitrate. My desktop however played ok.

All that being said, we will still toy with an HD solution this year, but it would be premature to expound as the kinks need to be worked out.

Regards,
KA :cool:

p.s. Thanks again Jonathan for your work on this!

Are you covering Districts??

Could someone familiar with the setup being used for the Michigan Districts chime in about whether the familiar video drop will be provided? I believe I remember reading that the A/V setup will be a bit different at these events, but I’m not really sure.

I dont see why the a/v would be different for the michigan regionals. The regionals should still have a camera crew and they still will be mixing video to the main screen therefore there should be a location of connection for teams if not I am sure someone could just ASK.

-Mike AA

I’ll make sure my setup is actually recording properly this year…


Regional                                          Volunteer
Week 1
BAE Systems Granite State Regional        Kyle Fenton (121)
Buckeye Regional     
Greater Kansas City Regional
Midwest Regional 
New Jersey Regional 
Oklahoma City Regional 
Washington DC Regional

Week 2
Boston Regional 
Finger Lakes Regional                           
Oregon Regional                          James Byrne (360)
San Diego Regional   
New York City Regional                   Kenny Ardizzone

Week 3
Dallas Regional
Florida Regional 
Los Angeles Regional      
Peachtree Regional                        Kevin Sevcik (57)
Pittsburgh Regional 
Silicon Valley Regional                   Martin Taylor (100)
Wisconsin Regional 

Week 4
Israel Regional   
Arizona Regional
Bayou Regional 
Boilermaker Regional    
Chesapeake Regional 
NASA / VCU Regional 
Philadelphia Regional
St. Louis Regional 
Waterloo Regional                         Jonathan Norris (2809)                       

Week 5
Colorado Regional 
Connecticut Regional 
Greater Toronto Regional                  Jonathan Norris (2809)
Hawaii Regional 
Las Vegas Regional 
Lone Star Regional                        Kevin Sevcik (57)
Microsoft Seattle Regional                James Byrne (360)
Palmetto Regional 
Sacramento Regional                       Martin Taylor (100)/D Green (701)
SBPLI Long Island Regional                Kenny Ardizzone, maybe

Week 6
Michigan State Championship
Minnesota 10000 Regional 
Minnesota North Star Regional

I have still to ask the regional directors, but assuming the video drop is available, we will be recording Chesapeake and Washington D.C.