Polymotion Player - Tracking the Stars of the Bundesliga

As we’ve mentioned in previous editions of the broadcast blog, the MRMC Broadcast team has been working with the Deutsche Fussball Liga (DFL), who are responsible for organising and marketing German professional football. Using Polymotion Player (our automated player tracking system), we enabled the Bundesliga to automatically track and follow an individual star player.

Sportcast and MRMC (a Nikon company) started a test phase of a robotic camera system with Polymotion Player a number of years ago. The system provides a series of opportunities for sports clubs, broadcasters and fans alike.  For performance, the robotics can be adjusted to be very fast, while having a strong zoom. To reduce operational costs, the system provides the ability to save costs per camera by scaling it up. The system is a complete remote system that reduces the organisational amount of work and there is no need to have the operator in the stadium. To experience the technology a new camera was introduced, the STAR Cam. It is a new use case as international broadcasters get a direct line of communication to the remote operator of the system. Thus the broadcaster decides which player they want to follow during the match direct. In this way, they don’t get a standardized feed but an individual camera they can use as they want to.

Here Marius Merten (Robotic Imaging Manager for Nikon/MRMC) takes you through exactly how Polymotion Player helped the DFL achieve their vision.

The “STAR Cam” of the Polymotion Player system is a fully automated artificial intelligence robotic camera. Based on the positions of the player, the camera follows the player through automation, based on the instructions set up in the software. The system provides new camera possibilities – cameras can be installed at positions where an operator cannot physically get to,  such as the roof of the stadium or the gantry. As the camera footprint gets smaller, it can provide more space compared to a traditional position. Because of the special robotics, it is very precise and rapid movement The system was installed in 2019, evaluated and tested by Sportcast and DFL. The end result is a fantastic use case that demonstrates how a new camera feed for international broadcasters can automatically track & follow an individual star player. The content is used for purposes such as in-game analysis, social media feeds and during the post-match broadcast. This enables International fans to get closer to their star player, whilst for leagues, clubs and associations the output allows for more individual awareness with the content adapted to their local interests.

Learn more about Polymotion Player (With Chyronhego) in the video to the right!