In May 2018, gaming technology startup Your Call Football (YCF) kicked off the inaugural season of its innovative, interactive sports experience.
Behind the scenes, global, real-time IP video solutions provider Phenix deployed plug-and-play capture hardware from Magewell to help enable real-time, high-quality streaming of the matches.
Your Call Football provides fans with play-calling control of a live-streamed American football game. Leveraging patented YCF technology, fans use the YCF iOS or Android app to control the action by voting on three coach-selected plays for each offensive down. The fans then watch as the majority-voted play is executed live on the field by YCF professional players. Participants accumulate points based on their play-calling skills and compete with other fans for YCF cash prizes.
Phenix delivers high-quality synchronous content to broadcast-sized audiences while maintaining less than 1/2 second of end-to-end latency. The company offers an end-to-end solution that starts by capturing video and audio at the source, and handles encoding, ingest, transcoding, composition and content delivery to any viewing device. While most customers operate the streaming system themselves, Phenix goes on-site for some large events to provide an extra level of support.
For the YCF games, the program feed crafted by the events’ production company was output as an HD-SDI signal, and brought into a computer running the Phenix encoder software using a Magewell USB Capture SDI device. The encoder software then published the resulting high-quality streams onto the Phenix delivery platform.
“Utilizing a Magewell capture device to ingest our production feed into the Phenix encoder onsite at YCF’s first-ever fan play-calling football games enabled us to deliver a real-time user experience that was second to none,” said Julie Meringer, President of Your Call Football. “Our fans watched the first season of YCF games in real-time from our iOS and Android apps, as well as on yourcallfootball.com and barstoolsports.com.”
Your Call Football is one of many projects for which Phenix has used or recommended Magewell products. As the Phenix platform’s technical capabilities grew and the company took on higher-tier customers, they needed to find a reliable capture solution to bring in HD-SDI and HDMI feeds from their clients’ multi-camera production infrastructures while maintaining quality. Magewell capture devices proved to be ideal.
“We support other vendors’ capture cards too, but we have had the most success with the Magewell products over other brands,” said Dr. Stefan Birrer, co-founder and CEO of Phenix. “In fact, if we’re on-site ourselves doing the streaming for the customer, we prefer using Magewell products.”
Magewell’s external USB Capture family is particularly appealing for customers with non-permanent installations, minimizing effort and support requirements.
“With the USB Capture products, users can simply have an external device and don’t need to build their own custom ingest computer with internal cards,” said Birrer. “Magewell’s automatic input detection also makes it easy, taking the guess work and configuration effort out of having to know the technical details of the input signal. Our customers’ goal is to reliably deliver the best quality and user experience with the simplest workflow, and Magewell fits those use cases perfectly.”
“Magewell’s high-quality, reliable and easy-to-deploy capture solutions are ideal for innovative use cases such as the Your Call Football project and Phenix’s streaming platform,” said Darryl Spangler, president of Magewell’s U.S. distributor, Mobile Video Devices. “We are excited that Phenix chose the USB Capture SDI as a critical workflow component for these ground-breaking events.”