World Water Skiers (WWS) is a nonprofit foundation dedicated to the support and promotion of Tournament Water Skiing. WWS focuses on driving innovation and, most recently, expanding their reach using live streaming and social media.
To effectively engage their live stream audience, Tom Grey, one of WWS’ founding members, knew that a technology solution that could provide high quality, data-driven graphics would be critical.
“We started doing video streaming as early as 2005,” said Grey. “We noticed that simply listening to scores come in over a walkie talkie from the officials was confusing and led to incorrect information being shown on the stream. So it was clear we needed a way to connect our live graphics to actual, confirmed data from the official scoring software.”
To achieve this, WWS faced two obstacles. First, how to get real-time data from the outdated scoring software. Second, finding an on-air graphics solution that could connect to data and drive graphics in real-time – and provide a wealth of design capabilities.
The first obstacle was solved by the WWS team, with the creation of a new online data hub, which they built from the ground up over a 3-year span. This innovative platform – a true first for the sport of water skiing – provides viewers instant data, results, access to athlete profiles and more. In addition, they made sure to include APIs and web sockets so that it can connect to third party software.
Now that they had this new platform, they needed a live video titling software solution that could create high quality, fully customizable graphics and “listen” to the platform to make real-time updates. Tom Grey and WWS had very stringent requirements for the solution.
Data needed to be updated in less than a second
It must have NDI output
It must provide total flexibility in design and animation.
It must be able to pull or listen for data via sockets and web API’s
It must be able to read Google Spreadsheets with no time delay
It had to be affordable
After looking around and trying a few options, they ultimately chose Titler Live 4 Broadcast, which met all their requirements for data integration and performance. Furthermore, the solution offered a fully functional Title Designer for their creative needs.
In addition to the data integration, Tom was able to create stunning, clean modern graphics that fit the WWS brand in time for the events – the Under21 Waterski World Championships in Canada and the Open World Waterski Championships in Malaysia.
NewBlue caught up with Tom after the Under21 Worlds to get his views of how it went.
“I was incredibly excited to see it in action, and it did not disappoint,” Grey remarked. “We turned on the computers and it connected instantly to the video switcher software via NDI. The animations and data updates were responsive and smooth.
“With the total customization of our own code using Titler Live’s powerful API, we were able to get instant updates to the titles without typing a word. All we had to do is click a button to show and hide a title design. That was my vision from Day 1 come true!”