Simplicity: Effective Slow Motion Instant Replay
Affordable High Performance Slow Motion Instant Replay - Cost Effective
Path to HD
Many sports producers continue to operate in standard
definition, often using a 16:9 wide screen aspect ratio. When done well,
most viewers donít even know theyíre actually watching SD. But
because most HD capable equipment is not much more expensive than
SD-only counterparts, purchasers tend to resist anything that cannot
also operate in HD. However there are some components, like slow motion
instant replay systems, that cost much more when capable of high
BUF Technology (BUFTEK) produces replay systems that are
popular for their low cost, high performance, and ease of use. However,
the HD versions are more than twice the price of SD. This is due to the
high cost of HD disk recording that is capable of useful slow motion. HD
recording has become commonplace and inexpensive, but only for normal
speed playback. "Interframe" or "Long GOP"
compression methods like MPEG are used to reduce data rates, and
therefore cost, but degrade the picture in a way that, even if slow
motion playback is possible, is not suitable for slow motion
applications. Some less expensive replay systems use these recording
techniques regardless and sometimes employ interpolation that results in
pictures that did not actually come from the camera!
Beware of interpolation! Features in the picture cannot be relied
upon to appear where they actually occurred in real life, and can even
disappear completely! Replay systems that use these techniques should
never be used in applications where the truth is important, such as
officiating replay. And "low cost" systems that employ MPEG
tend to be fairly expensive anyway, generally having a higher price tag
than BUF Technology systems.
BUFTEK knows a lot about officiating replay, having
played an instrumental part in the design and production of the original
"FORCE" officiating replay system used
in professional football. In fact BUFTEK coined the name
"FORCE". Even with their low cost, all BUFTEK Sport replay
systems record and reproduce exactly the same images the camera
produces; interpolation is not needed or used. An important aspect of
this is the need to record and reproduce all 60 pictures per second that
the camera provides (actually 59.94 per second, or 50 in Europe and many
other regions). Systems that use interpolation often only record half
the pictures from the camera, then further compress and distort using
Long GOP recording! Thatís why they use interpolation, otherwise the
slow motion playback would look too jerky.
New upgrades to Sport allow the purchase of
affordable SD replay today with an upgrade path to HD tomorrow.
The controller portion of Sport is a significant part of the cost, and
is now capable of being used to control HD recorders purchased later.
This offsets about 25% of the cost of a later HD upgrade, and that is at
todayís prices, likely to come down in the future as HD technology
becomes less expensive. This makes it practical to migrate to disk based
slow motion now, giving producers the high performance, low operating
cost, and ease of use it offers. Using videotape for replay is
cumbersome and puts a lot of costly head hours on VTRs that continue to
be needed when tape is appropriate. And Sport is logical and easy to
learn; it doesnít require operators to attend special classes to
BUF Technology Sport replay provides an excellent
return on investment, even if only the minimal expenditure of
standard definition Sport is made initially. Effective slow motion
instant replay adds value to any sports production, and Sport makes it
simple and affordable.
Here for Sport Replay Tips
Firmware upgrade for existing Sport Replay Systems
adds important new features!
Control multiple SD and/or
HD Sports with one control panel.
Control RM-HD1 Replay
Recorders with existing SD Sport for affordable move to HD.
Adds many new features,
Mark Backtiming saves time making perfect cue points.
Clip based recording
maximizes flexibility of selective delete and cue point
Automatic replacement of record cue
points in playlists when re-marked.
Faster response of two-key functions
- hold-key sampled instantly.
Deals on SD Replay!
HD budget not materializing just now?
Many viewers think theyíre watching HD when it's actually high quality
anamorphic 16:9 standard definition.
SD is still appropriate for many large format screens, streaming, and
smaller market broadcasts.
Donít want to spend any more on SD, but not loving your current instant
Ask about our PRICE REDUCTION on the popular SD Sport replay system with
Now, disk based instant replay is more affordable than ever - join the
massive group of BUF Sport lovers.
Still doing replay on tape?
Save those expensive VTR head hours for when you actually need to deliver
Sport is a great, yet affordable replay system, and doubles as a general
purpose server for
virtually any short term recording task, further maximizing its excellent
return on investment.
Speed up your replay while increasing image quality.
Build highlights effortlessly while replaying - ready to play and/or
layoff as soon as the gameís over.
Zero operational costs after purchase - very low power consumption and
heat production, small and quiet.
Sport is very easy to learn - ideal for student or other high turnover
operators - great teaching tool.
Increase revenue by offering your guarantee to play advertiser bumpers in
and out of every replay (see TBar)!
Upgrade path when youíre ready for HD - an SD investment that still has
value when you go HD.
Hard Disk Recorder right in the Panel
Comments from Sport owners:
really is just the best replay system out there at any price - and it's
"Very happy with it - it works perfect!"
it on our first game and loved it. Haven't gotten very deep into the
playlist stuff yet, but will soon."
work seamlessly. The operator looks like a Cheshire Cat when using
it and wants 4 of them."
like to order a couple more Sport-80's because we love them so
much. Put them on Amex."
an emergency basketball game this weekend, used Sport, and loved
love Sport. Use it for roll-ins for live TV. Upgrading to SDI,
charge the Amex."
use it for a clip store. It's very fast bringing up a clip. Just
punch in the number and it's right there. All our crowd reaction stuff
is done on it. Best six grand we ever spent."
Multi Channel Hard Disk HD Replay
Slow motion instant replay works best when done in a simple way. Lots
of features look impressive during a demonstration, but tend to
overwhelm operators, bogging down the important tasks. A relatively
simple set of basic features are what the operator really needs and will
actually use in practice. Having too many bells and whistles is like
packing too much for a quick trip. In live production, especially
instant replay, speed is of the essence.
BUF Technologyís "Sport" replay systems implement a basic
set of tools most useful to the job, and present more advanced features
in an inherent way that keeps the complexity mostly hidden from the
operator. The result is very fast and effective live replay, and
effortless creation of highlights packages that are ready to play at any
time. Sport is easy to learn, making it ideal for student operators,
where operator turnover tends to be high. And Sport performs better than
any other replay system on the market, and at an affordable price.
Editing is complicated and takes time, so is best done post
production when time is available. However, for highlights creation
purposes, basic editing is beneficial to the replay process as long as
it doesnít take too much time and attention away from the primary task
of live replay. Sport makes it practical for the live replay operator to
create the highlights package by simplifying the way it is done. Two
basic tasks are required to create an effective highlights package,
marking clips (cue points), and placing them in the timeline of the
highlights package. Sport implements the marking of clips in a highly
effective way, and facilitates placing them into the highlights package
inherently in chronological order.
Making the highlights is easy, Sport allows the most recently created
clip to be placed at the end of the clips already in a particular
playlist of clips with a simple keystroke sequence, namely hold ENTER
and hit PLAYLIST. This results in a natural order of highlights elements
with very little effort. When a clip is entered into the playlist, it
doesnít need to be perfect. Sport makes it easy to tweak afterwards,
while it is being played live for replay. So the operator needs only to
decide whether the action being viewed is worthy of inclusion in the
highlights package and add it to the playlist. The real time consumer
(normally) is getting the clip just right.
Clips, or cue points, are snippets of action defined by timecode
beginning "in" and ending "out" points. Although
these points are referenced internally by timecode numbers, the operator
makes these decisions based solely on the visual action and need not be
concerned with timecode. A MARK key creates a new cue point, or clip, at
the current playback or record position (the displayed video frame).
Since action worthy of replay canít be known until after it has begun
to occur, marks made during recording must be trimmed back after being
marked. Normally this is done by cueing to the marked point, backing up,
then re-marking the point. To save time and make initial marks more
accurate and often perfect, BUF Technology proudly introduces Variable
Mark Backtiming or VMBT. VMBT uses a simple technique to allow the
operator to back-time the point being marked by a variable amount. When
the MARK button is first hit, it captures the current timecode as usual,
but if it is held down, the duration of time it is held is
measured and subtracted from the initial timecode to create the
back-timed point. Essentially, the timecode runs backwards while the
button is held down. VMBT takes advantage of the human mindís ability
to estimate how long ago something happened and to duplicate that period
of time fairly accurately. This feature works very well with little
practice, allowing operators to make perfect cue points on the first try
most of the time. Even when imperfect, marks tend to be close, speeding
up the time required for trimming.
Sport replay systems concentrate on the tools a replay operator
really needs and uses. Highlights are quick and easy to create without
slowing or distracting from the primary task of live replay. A simple
operational methodology makes Sportís learning curve short, meaning
operators spend time on the job, not in class. Sport is built tough,
able to come through consistently and survive years of the hectic life
of live production. All this and an affordable price makes Sport the
best choice for the limited replay dollar.
Sport Replay Tips
Playlists - Fast and Easy Highlights
You may or may not already use the playlist feature of
your Sport or Sport-HD replay system.
These simple steps can help you to streamline the way you use this
1. During recording, when you see action worthy of the highlights package:
Hit MARK, then hold ENTER and hit PLAYLIST - this makes a clip and puts it
into the highlights playlist.
2. Once the action is over, hit CUE or PREROLL to cue for replay. Turn the
knob (jog) to tweak where the clip should ideally begin.
3. Hold ENTER and hit MARK (see NOTES below) - this changes the start of
the clip to your tweaked location (IN point), and inherently also fixes it
in the playlist.
4. Play the replay (on air). If playback doesn't stop at the ideal time,
hit STOP and jog to a better location, then hold OUT and hit MARK - this
tweaks the OUT point.
By following these steps while doing replays, a
"cuts-only" highlights package will be ready to play as soon as
the game is over (just hit PLAYLIST, CUE, PLAY and ride speed as desired).
Capturing for Editing and Streaming
The fastest and easiest way to get video from Sport into
your editing system is simply to capture the playback of a playlist of
selected clips. If you use any slow motion effects in your edited piece,
you can improve the look of your product by taking advantage of Sport's
capabilities: After you capture the playlist, capture it again while
playing the playlist at half (50%) speed. Name the slow motion clip with
the same name followed by "slow" or "50". When you
want to edit a slow motion segment, rather than slowing the segment down
with your editing software, use the already slowed down version from the
slow motion clip. It will be located at the normal speed clip's TC times
two, so if the full speed segment starts at 00:01:20:00, the same segment
on the slow clip will be at 00:02:40:00. If you want to slow it down
further, use the editor to slow down the 50% footage (e.g. slow to 50% to
get 25% of real time). The idea is to use all the pictures that the camera
Why bother to do it this way? Because most video capture
systems only record 30 frames per second, so when you slow to half speed
for instance, you get a jerky and amateur looking 15 FPS. BUF Technology
Sport replay systems record all sixty pictures per second that the camera
provides, so at half speed you get a smooth looking 30 FPS. By capturing
Sport's half speed playback, your slow motion edited segments will have
that same professional look and feel.
For step 1 above, you must first make sure the "setup
playlist" is the same one you will be using for highlights (typically
zero). There are ten playlists, any of which can be selected independently
for "setup" and/or "playback".
To select a playlist for setup:
Hit SETUP, a keypad number 0-9, then PLAYLIST. Anytime you hold ENTER and
hit PLAYLIST, the current cue point (the one on the MENU display) will be
added to that playlist. You can also hold 0-9 and hit PLAYLIST to add the
current cue point to any of the ten playlists. While in playlist setup
mode, follow the icons to change the displayed step, delete a clip, or add
a "still" step. A clip can be added at any step by simply
entering its number. When done, hit HOME to exit the setup mode.
To select a playlist for playback:
Hit a keypad number 0-9 (don't hold it in), PLAYLIST, then CUE. The
selected playlist is cued for playback. Hit PLAYLIST again to exit the
playlist mode. The next time PLAYLIST, CUE is hit (without hitting a
keypad number first), the last used playlist will be cued for playback.
Step 3 above - Hold ENTER and hit MARK: This works only
with newer firmware versions. Previously, you had to hold IN (UP arrow)
and hit MARK - the new way was added because it is easier to reach.
If your Sport replay system is more than a couple of years
old, we recommend taking advantage of our "REFURB" program. For
a reasonable charge, your Sport is completely disassembled, cleaned, and
reassembled. New firmware is installed and all factory tests are
performed. Any broken parts are replaced for half their regular price
(certain parts are excluded). A REFURB-SP will make your Sport almost like
new - hit PRICE LIST for pricing.
Video Q.C. Operators:
If you carry your PC around to different facilities,
you'll want to upgrade to the latest version of the (FREE) BUFclips
Why? Because of all the nice new features it offers.
Download it, run it, then read the BUFclips.xml file it makes. You
can customize lots of stuff to make it save you more time including
multiple character delimiters (allow hours, minutes, seconds, frames to
be in separate spreadsheet windows, etc.), lots more hotkey phrases
(single button access to miscellaneous words you use a lot), and the
ability to send a cue command to any timecode in the Windows clipboard
(regardless what application it was clipped from).
There's also a bunch of stuff in there you probably
won't use. Like BUFclips' VDCP protocol capability that controls
many video servers just like a VTR. You can load clips on your PC,
setup playlists, and control the picture and extract timecode like a VTR
(well, jog/shuttle is dependent upon how well the server can
perform). These features are enabled by installing an optional USB
Dongle, call us if you're interested. Please let your customers
know that server Q.C. can be done with the speed and ease they're used
SRW-5800 - you may have noticed that, due to picture
breakup, JOG mode is unusable on some SRW-5800s.
Contrary to popular belief, this is not some lack of DT, it's just a
little firmware bug in the VTR.
BUF has a workaround: VQC-3000 and VTC-4000/RM-4000 firmware
revisions 100121 or later have a menu that, when enabled, sends variable
play commands in lieu of jog commands when in JOG mode. JOG still
works the same, it just substitutes the command sent to the VTR.
The result is that the SRW-5800 works exactly as well as the SRW-5500
when jogging. The menu to enable is (SETUP, SETUP) OPER PREFS, JOG
USE VP CMD.
Video Q.C. Keystroke Utility Works with Window's Vista & 7
The free PC timecode keystroke entry
utility for BUF Technology QC controllers now works with Microsoft's
Vista and "7" operating systems. The popular "BUFkeys"
utility program is replaced by the new "BUFclips"
software offering the same keystroke issuing capability in addition to
The new BUFclips may look somewhat
complicated, but it is really very simple to use. The new clip features
are activated only if you purchase and connect the USB "Dongle"
security key to your PC. These features allow the VQC-3000 or
VTC-4000/RM-4000 to control VDCP protocol servers in addition to Sony
protocol VTRs. It adds support for almost all servers including Grass
Valley/Thomson/Tektronix, Harris/Leitch/ASC, Omneon, Seachange, FFV,
Doremi, and many more. It allows you to manage and load clips and
perform other clip related tasks.
But if you only need the keystroke
utility that you had with BUFkeys, use BUFclips without the Dongle, and
the program runs in "free mode", providing the same keystroke
features as BUFkeys, except it uses a different and more universal
technique to issue keystrokes. It works with all known versions of
Windows, including Vista and "7". As with BUFkeys, you
typically need to run BUFclips "as Administrator" for it to
work. To use VDCP and the other new optional features, you need to
update the EPROM in the panel (as well as purchasing and installing the
Dongle). However, older versions of VQC-3000 and VTC-4000/RM-4000
firmware do work with BUFclips.
To use BUFclips with older (before
091116) VQC-3000 or VTC-4000/RM-4000 firmware versions:
1. Download and install the program (skip
the Dongle drivers install step as instructed).
2. Run the program and hit the QUIT
button - this creates the BUFclips.txt file.
3. Edit the BUFclips.txt file with a text
editor, search for BAUDRATE= and change the value from 38.4K to 9600.
BUFclips will work just like BUFkeys and
reacts more quickly in addition to other enhancements. Importantly,
BUFclips will issue keystrokes to all known versions of Windows,
including Vista, adding support for most laptops.
Click here for more
info about BUFclips.
BUFclips Video Server Clip Management Software
BUFclips supercedes BUFkeys video Q.C. keyboard
Still FREE keystroke features - now works on Vista and 7!
Optional features add:
VDCP Protocol support to existing BUF controllers
~ Displays all clips available on server
~ Loads clips for playback
~ Drag and drop clips into play lists
~ Jog and shuttle control with companion VQC-3000 panel
Don't Replace - Refurbish!
You have made the right choice purchasing BUF
Technology controllers/replay systems. Because they last
forever! If you are in the club of experienced BUF users, you
know how long they hold up and how much punishment they can
take. But everything ages eventually and we would love for you
to purchase our newest model. However, sometimes if it works for
you, why spend money needlessly? Instead take advantage of our
"Refurb" program: For a nominal charge, you can make
your BUF controller almost like new again. We disassemble it,
clean it, update it, reassemble it, and run it through our factory
Don't leave money sitting on the table, refurbish!
A BUF Sport Story:
Love it. Like the ability to
record a 3 hour meeting. It's really an impressive unit. Used it for
football yesterday and had a play where there was a turnover, but they
couldn't tell how it happened, how their guy got the ball. They looked
at the recording on Sport this morning and were able to see exactly
how it happened with ease. Phased it into the switcher in a couple of
minutes and love the interface. One of our guys who deals with
purchases saw it and he says he'll recommend it to the board.
(Later after the purchase)
The Sport Replay is a favorite
of our announcers because of the quick turnaround of the video. They
frequently ask to see replays or even still shots of plays. We used a
still shot the other night when the team got called for lining up
offsides. The still picture clearly showed the player way ahead of the
line of scrimmage.
When we are not using the Sport Replay in the van for sporting events,
it is connected to our control room for B-roll video. Because our
crews are 100% volunteer, we do not always have a full crew. The Sport
Replay is so easy to use, the director usually cues and plays the
B-roll video him/herself.
It was great meeting everyone from Buftek at the show in Marlboro, MA.
Keep up the great work!
Holliston Cable Access, Inc., Holliston, MA
Video Server Controller
Powerful yet simple control
of video servers
One touch playlists and
Store, recall, and
configure panel setups on PC
Controls 8 server channels
and 2 VTRs
Frame accurate ingest from
Multi channel recording and
Routing Switcher Control System
Affordable control of
routing switchers using PC computers
Fast and easy - touch
screen or mouse
Easy to set up using
Controls many routers from
Control via existing
IR device control option
Routing and IR command
"BUFclips" Software Upgrade for Video Server Control
The capabilities of the VQC-3000
video Q.C. controller have been expanded to enhance video server
support. Full technical and visual Q.C. (quality control) is performed
routinely on high end programming, particularly long form programs such
as major motion pictures prior to delivery to broadcasters or before
encoding for DVD. Defects such as film scratches, specks, hairs, digital
hits, noise, and compression artifacts often can be detected only by
human visual observation. A high performance controller is usually
employed to speed the process, saving time and money. The Q.C. operator
watches the programming in real time and has complete and instant
control over picture motion allowing questionable segments or frames to
be identified frame accurately and documented in a Q.C. report for later
repair. Programming generally is transmitted by videotape, sometimes
using superior formats like Sony's HDCAM-SR. However, more and more
programming is being recorded, post produced, and delivered entirely as
file based objects, never leaving the domain of video servers.
To support video Q.C. operations
using file based systems with minimal adjustment to current procedures,
we have introduced "BUFclips", a software program that runs on
a PC connected to any new or existing VQC-3000 video Q.C. controller.
The system controls video servers using VDCP (video disk communications
protocol - formerly "Louth Protocol"), a "9-pin"
RS-422 protocol common to almost all video servers. VDCP is to video
servers as the "Sony 9-pin" VTR control protocol is to
videotape recorders. BUFclips displays clip names reported by the server
and features one click clip loading and jog/shuttle control essentially
identical to that of VTRs (depending on the video server's capabilities
and file format limitations, e. g. "long-GOP" compression
formats like some forms of MPEG tend to play with rough motion in
reverse). Long clip names are supported. Other features such as drag and
drop playlists are also included.
In addition to its video server
related features, BUFclips also facilitates automatic timecode entry.
When problem frames are identified by the operator, the timecode number
must be entered into the Q.C. report. Manual entry of timecode numbers
takes time and is prone to errors, so we developed a system for entering
the numbers automatically via a serial connection between the controller
and PC. Because this feature could only be used with custom Q.C. report
software, we developed BUFkeys, a software utility that allows the
numbers to be entered into any program as though typed on the keyboard.
A simple F-key keystroke either on the PC or the controller
"types" formatted timecode wherever the "caret"
(keyboard cursor) is located. Any program that would normally receive
keystrokes typed on the keyboard, receives the timecode, and formatting
is easily customized including pre and/or post characters, drop frame
indication, etc. This allows exact timecode numbers to be entered
quickly and accurately into any program running on the PC including
popular spreadsheet, database, and word processing programs. BUFclips
includes all the features of BUFkeys and runs on all versions of Windows
(98SE or later). Also new for BUFclips is that it works on the Vista
operating system (Windows and Vista are trademarks of MicroSoft
corporation). Since Q.C. rooms commonly already have a PC running
BUFkeys, it is simply a matter of replacing BUFkeys with BUFclips and
updating the firmware in the VQC-3000 to upgrade an existing Q.C. room
to file based Q.C.
Any new or existing VQC-3000 will
work with BUFclips - existing VQC-3000s require a firmware update.
BUFclips is available for half price when purchased with a new VQC-3000.
here for Press Release format
problem fixed! Ouch!
BUFclips problem fixed!
We are embarrassed to report that a faulty version of BUFclips
software had been posted on the buftek.com site.
BUFclips version 111122 has a divide by zero error that causes
BUFclips to crash, however it will not cause other problems. It has
been removed from the site and replaced with the new version: 111220.
If you use BUFclips, or would like to check it out, please download
this latest version from:
To learn about BUFclips, download and unzip it, launch it, and read
the C:\BUFCLIPS\BUFclips.xml file.
A Note About BUFTEK Software:
All BUFTEK software products run lean-and-mean and do not slow down
or otherwise negatively affect your computer. To completely uninstall
a BUFTEK software product, all that is required is to delete its
containing folder. No residual files or data (like registry keys) are
left on the computer that could cause adverse cumulative effects.
To install a BUFTEK software product, download and unzip (extract)
the files into a folder or on the desktop, then launch the SETUP.BAT
file (double-click SETUP). You cannot run SETUP.BAT from within the
zip file, you must first extract it first. Setup creates a folder by
the name of the product and extracts all the necessary files and
folders into that folder. It does not place data or create files
anywhere else, so deleting this folder will completely remove the
product and all related data from the computer. For some products, the
last step of installation will be to install drivers for a USB "Dongle"
security key. This step can be skipped (you will see instructions for
doing so), if you will not be using features that require the Dongle,
or if you have already installed the drivers. If you choose to install
the Dongle drivers, and later want to uninstall the software and
Dongle drivers, you will need to separately uninstall the Dongle
drivers using the Windows* control panel.
*Copyright Microsoft Corp.