About the project
With a ball that can fly at a speed of up to 281 km/h, squash is a sport that’s exciting to watch but very difficult to film. Our apps were used at a Dutch Junior Open 2019 to great success. This year, our newly released CamSwitcher App allowed Sander van der Brakel, squash enthusiast, developer, and owner of iMakeStuff software development, to push squash live streaming at Frans Otten Stadium to the next level.
Live stream setup of Eredivisie individueel 2021 tournament consisted of two AXIS cameras with CamStreamer apps. The result was an impressive-looking sports event broadcast featuring a live commentary, dynamic switches between cameras, and custom graphic features.
“The overlays and scoreboards are designed with a lot of care to ensure perfect readability. With Camscripter App we created a lot of detailed dynamic elements that add to the professional feel. Have a look at the little squash ball next to the game score that indicates which player has served last: it switches automatically based on the score input by the referee,” van den Brakel pointed out.
The main camera is a AXIS Q3517-LV mounted high up the ceiling. Van der Brakel explained: “This one of the few Axis models that can stream 2K at a high frame rate of 50/60 fps. This ensures the sharpest image for the fast-moving players on the court. Most importantly, this is the best way to follow the fast-moving small squash ball.” An AXIS T8351 MK II Microphone records the sound on the court. “For daily use, this microphone is plugged directly in the camera. When we have events with live commenting and multiple angles, we plug this microphone in a sound mixer: Samson MXP144FX MixPad,” he added.
The side camera is an AXIS M1137 with CamOverlay App and CamScripter App on board to show the scoreboards and logos of sponsors. Van der Brakel said: “By using a second camera at the left side wall, we can switch between the overview at the back of the court and a more detailed view at the backhand side of the court. This adds a lot to the professional look of the broadcast. Switching from one to the other camera is fluid and perfectly in sync. Even when the second camera is a lower fps capable camera. It just works.” Thanks to CamSwitcher App, it’s possible to use audio from the sound mixer instead of M1137’s internal microphone, even when the camera is on.
The final pieces of the streaming setup are a MacBook and an iPhone: “We use a MacBook for switching between the cameras. When switching as fast as we need for squash, the shortcut buttons to switch cameras are indispensable. It enables the director to switch cameras while not having to get their eyes off the match,” van den Brakel said.
At the beginning of each match, iPhone 8 streams an image of the commentators to CamOverlay App as a picture-in-picture. He explained: “Viewers love to see the faces that belong to the voices of the commentators.”
Eredivisie individueel 2021 was the perfect opportunity to test the potential of our latest release, the CamSwitcher App. When asked what he likes the most about the application, Sander van den Brakel replied: “What's not to like! All features are very useful. If we have to name our favorites it's the Shortcuts Function to switch cameras and the new ability to switch to pre-recorded videos. The latter is great to show interviews with players, commercials from our sponsors, and other entertaining footage. Speaking of sponsors: the ability to show sponsor logos and videos made our investments in the hardware and software a lot easier!”