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Thread: OCR for non-Daktronics Interfaced Scoreboards

  1. #1
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    OCR for non-Daktronics Interfaced Scoreboards

    Hi everyone, our company supplies the Foxbox systems (Timing and Scoring Interface Display Systems) to Fox. We were recently commissioned to develop a Optical Character Recognition System to convert non-interfaced Scoreboards to Daktronics interface so that a visible "clock-cam" is no longer required. Our system also can provide the OCR/Daktronics timing and scoring data over IP for near real-time worldwide distribution. We currently have Smartphone Applications (Android) that can display this "near real time scoring data", and can update web sites and inclusion into Databases. It can support up to 2 Standard Def/High Def camera inputs to shoot scoreboard and shot clock. It easily OCR's 1/10th of a second. Just wondering if anyone in the Tricaster Market would find this type of OCR interface useful?

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    Registered User ZachSchuster's Avatar
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    Yes. If it could output clock into a key=value for Datalink, I think you would have a lot of interest. What kind of price would you be thinking?

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    Sign us up! We're currently working with some colleges that have Daktronics feeds available. But the majority of the universities in this conference don't have it available.

    And then we do quite a few high school broadcasts per year and we'd love to use OCR instead of a physical clock camera on the screen.

    Brian

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    Newtek gave us a download for the Datalink Manual.

    The Key Values look quite simple to implement.

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    If anyone would like to see a real-time demo of the OCR in action. Please download this file from our FTP site. This installer includes .NET which is a necessary component if your system XP doesn't already have Microsoft .NET installed.

    You can actually get it to "miss read" the scoreboard if you can get it to STOP during a transition between two numbers. Something that does not happen in real life.


    http://www.graphicsoutfitters.com/ScoreOCRDemo.zip

  6. #6
    NewTek System Integrator PIZAZZ's Avatar
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    Sounds really great. Can't wait to test it out. Many of our clients could use something like this. I look forward to speaking with you more about this.
    Jef Kethley
    PIZAZZ
    www.pizazz.com

    Using:
    All models of TriCasters + 3Play, IPSeries
    Panasonic UB300 4k cams
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    Registered User ted's Avatar
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    Fantastic. We just finished our second year of HS football and would have loved this!!!
    Ted R. Ruiz Sr.
    Ad-Venture Video Productions
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    TriCasters, Most All Models
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    Registered User ZachSchuster's Avatar
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    That's pretty nice. Would this require a separate computer system, or just the software and capture card?

    Also, for football and basketball when there is secondary clock (ie. delay of game or shot clock) would it be possible with one camera framed for the scoreboard and the shotclock to read two regions of the frame and output two clocks as keys=values?

    I noticed the lack of a colon or period between minutes/seconds and seconds/tenths. Is that just a limitation of the "player" or would it be like that in an output for LiveText?

    Very cool regardless!
    Last edited by ZachSchuster; 12-01-2010 at 08:39 AM.

  9. #9
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraphicsOutfit View Post
    Just wondering if anyone in the Tricaster Market would find this type of OCR interface useful?
    Actually, I spent some time chatting with you at your booth at NAB, Richard (I've still got your card on my desk). Nice to see you in here.
    --
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    You can send the colon or period as a OSC variable. Hence you would OCR the top dot on the clock. When the dot was illuminated, then it would send a ":", when not illuminated it would send a "." since this indicates the transition to less than 1 minute. In terms of variables, Daktronics supplies all of the data formatted together, we provide each digit as a separate variable. i.e /time1, /time2, /time3, /time5, /shotclock1, /shotclock2, /homescore1, /homescore2, /homescore3, etc. We then build a simple OSC receiver where the OSC variables can then be combined back together on the receiver end. Even if the OSC reciever and OSC transmitter (OCR app) reside on the same machine. This format allows for a standard set of variables to be transmitted, and then developers can use the standardized OSC values to distribute the data variables into their own applications.

    Does that make sense?
    Rich

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    Zach,

    I think you would want/need a separate computer for this system -- and most likely a hefty one since it is doing a lot of processing to pick up the tenths of a second. Plus I wouldn't want to tax the capabilities of a TriCaster or VT5 system any more with something like this.

    Rich,

    Good to know about the . vs. : issue. That makes sense and I was wondering the same thing.

    Brian

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    Steve:

    Glad you stopped by the booth at NAB, and hope you will stop by again this year. We are once again fairly close to the NewTek booth, more so by luck than design, and will be more or less between the NewTek booth and VizRT. We have a total 10x20, but had to purchase two 10x10 next to each other. Our booth is SL5007/SL5008. We are considering using a Tricaster in our booth for demonstration, but this really is not a market we are that familiar with. Any comments or suggestions from your end would be appreciated. Thanks for keeping my card on your desk.

    Best Regards,
    Rich

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    Yes, you will need a separate computer. If you only use SD cameras, then you can get the application to run on a I7 laptop with an ExpressCard slot as the Input card only requires a PCIe-x1 slot

    HD cameras require a x4 PCIe slot and will not work with a laptop. HD cameras also require a faster processor. On the current timing and scoring boxes used by some networks. When running in HD, the Clock Cams are also required to be HD.. i.e. 720p/1080i. This adds a considerable additional cost to the production. So we were asked to make it work in SD, with the ultimate goal was to make it work off of cheap consumer cameras that can output Analog SD, and then convert it to SD-SDI for the input card. This allows simple long distance "home-run" backhual from the camera via coax using Analog SD. When it get to the truck, you simply convert it to SD-SDI and present it to the Video Input Card.

    Rich

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    We will be at the SVG League Summit in NYC if anyone else is going. Newtek will be there.

    http://sportsvideo.org/main/lts2010/

  15. #15
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraphicsOutfit View Post
    Steve: Glad you stopped by the booth at NAB, and hope you will stop by again this year.
    Count on it. You wouldn't remember me as I was in my 'joe guy asking questions' persona, not my NewTek one. (At a lot of booths, that can be useful).
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