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Case study

ProZone selects Sony to enhance its business offering

 Sony systems enhances ProZone's match analysis
The SNC-RX550P offers the highest image quality in its class 

ProZone is a provider of football performance and match analysis software for over half of the UK's football premiership clubs.  Designed by coaches for coaches, Prozone offers a rich and comprehensive set of analysis tools, founded on physical, technical and tactical aspects of performance, offering football clubs full 90 minute match reviews for quality control and fitness monitoring purposes.

Customer challenge / business needs

Constantly looking to further develop its business offering, ProZone decided to upgrade its existing analogue technology to digital format and looked to install a state-of-the-art digital camera monitoring system by Sony.  The new cameras needed to be capable of capturing players' on-pitch movements with high levels of clarity in a variety of multi-dimensional views, whilst offering remote management capabilities for ease of use and for tailored monitoring and lens positioning.

For quick, effective and accurate relay of statistical data on player movements and performances to the server room, where the footage is analysed, ProZone also required a solution which could integrate fully with both its existing analogue and purpose-built, dedicated networks.

The Sony solution

Impressed with the comprehensive portfolio of Sony equipment installed at Arsenal Football Club's grounds, the Emirates Stadium, Prozone looked to Sony for the upgrade of its cameras at the grounds.  Sony installed 10 Sony SNC-RX550P cameras at sight-line points around the roof of the stadium, ensuring that the movements of all 22 players could be captured simultaneously and accurately.

The SNC-RX550P cameras offer the highest image quality in its class and provides in-built image stabilisation technology, ensuring that any natural grandstand movements do not impact the clarity of the pictures.  For added accuracy, the cameras also include intelligent features, which automatically refocus the cameras to where the activity is.  Commenting on the technology, Phil Tordoff, Head of Product Management and Strategy at Prozone explained: "The cameras enable us to provide highly accurate and resilient footage for analysis, ensuring that we continue to stay ahead of the game.  The intelligence features will allow us to maximise the viewing angles and provide more comprehensive visions to the club."

The implementation

Positioned carefully to ensure that no blind spots occur when one camera's line of sight is blocked by players, every area of the pitch is covered with a minimum of two cameras, typically four, for resilience of capture.

A snapshot of a live feed 
Sony installed cameras at sight-line points around the roof of the stadium to capture the movements of all 22 players

Video images are captured at a rate of 10 per second which are then processed by ProZone's software to provide highly detailed match information such as fitness and performance data.  With this data they can track the runs of an individual player over a specified duration to measure fitness, assess how the defence works together as a unit or determine the overall effectiveness of team tactics.

"Being digital, the cameras were easily installed on to the stadium's IP network, allowing for efficient and fast transfer of 5GB of visual data to Prozone's production centre.  Prior to the company's work with Sony, Prozone was reliant on the installation of dedicated networks, with costly and expansive cables connecting the cameras with the server room,"  commented Tordoff.  "By migrating to a digital network design, we can make use of the stadium's multi-use IP infrastructure, enabling us to share the costs of use with other stadium services, including CCTV and IP telephony."

Furthermore the SNC-RX550P supports the wireless transmission of video data ensuring the technology meets the requirements of future venues and applications.

Customer benefits

"By working with Sony we have created the only digital stadium platform that is cutting edge and future proof, enabling integration of future technologies quickly and cost effectively," said Tordoff.  "The cameras not only provide excellent quality images but ensure that each player's tracks are monitored for the full 90 minutes, thanks to automatic computer recognition technology."

ProZone's PlayBack plus software seamlessly integrates with the stadium's digital network and means that at any one time, up to 10 people can now access the live camera feeds.  "By moving to a digital format, we can provide our clients with a faster turnaround of footage, in fact, we will provide DVD videos easily, within minutes of full time for first pass video analysis", added Tordoff.

The cameras can also be repositioned or adjusted remotely from ProZone's off-site offices, saving significant time and monetary costs in providing onsite engineering support.  Automatic monitoring and reporting of camera availability additionally increases the resilience of the solution.

Sony provides quick, effective and accurate footage 
ProZone and Sony have created the only future proof digital stadium platform

Sony - the market leader

"Following the resounding success of our work with Sony at the new Arsenal Emirates Stadium, we have decided to work with Sony ongoing for the integration of their digital cameras with our Playback analysis software,"  Tordoff explained.  "We have already completed work at two other British football stadiums and have been commissioned further installations at four additional stadiums both at home and abroad.  Sony has provided us with the technology to really grow our offering.  We look forward to expanding our business globally."

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