Combining the Cloud and Artificial Intelligence to deliver super slow-motion replays from any camera angle
While super slow-motion is a much sought-after effect for replays in live sports productions, its usage is often constrained to a few carefully selected camera angles, due to high infrastructure costs and the fact that most point of view cameras do not support super slow-motion video.
XtraMotion changes the game. The new software application developed by EVS has been designed to allow broadcasters to deliver super slow-motion replays from virtually any angle they choose on a production. Based on both cloud processing and machine learning, the service enables the transformation of footage from any camera angle on a production into high-speed video using frame interpolation. As a result, productions can easily increase their super slow-motion coverage without having to deploy additional hardware on site.
XtraMotion can handle any production format – from 1080i to 1080p as well as UHD-4K with HDR – and any original framerate, enabling the transformation of a 60fps video into a very smooth 180fps video as well as a native 180fps into a 540fps video.
As a cloud service available on-demand, the decision to activate XtraMotion can be taken in instants and productions can also easily scale it to the capacity they need. It integrates tightly into the EVS live production ecosystem, allowing replay operators to seamlessly clip any content from anywhere on the network, render it to super slow-motion with a simple touch of a button, and play it back with the desired frame rate seconds after.
In addition to replays and highlights, operators can also apply the XtraMotion process to openers and closers, as well as archived content, providing more opportunities to enhance the narrative of a production.
The launch of XtraMotion took place in May 2021, following a successful trial period with FOX Sports. It was first deployed as a Proof of Concept (POC) at Super Bowl LIV, in February 2020, after which FOX Sports took the decision to make XtraMotion an integral part of its productions. It was at Daytona 500 that XtraMotion truly demonstrated the extent of its storytelling capabilities by allowing viewers to watch super slow-motion replays from the in-car cameras – a first in the history of live sports broadcasting.
Laurent Petit, SVP Product and Solutions said: “We truly appreciate the industry recognizing our vision which is to continue leveraging the power of AI in order to improve the quality of live content, and to extend the capabilities of our on-premises equipment with services deployed in the Cloud.”
“XtraMotion combines many of the strengths that are characteristics of EVS’ success, including AI, the Cloud, replay technology and fast-turnaround capabilities,” said Olivier Barnich, Head of Innovation at EVS. “Not only is it a breakthrough innovation, it is also a major achievement in terms of collaboration between all R&D teams who’ve worked tirelessly together on delivering an exciting new storytelling tool for broadcasters and media companies to take advantage of on their productions.”