Lancers games go live on Web
St. Francis High School and BitGravity are teaming up to broadcast sporting events live in full HD online. Roughly 500 viewers tuned in for the first two live streams of the Mountain View private school's football games, and bigger games against rival schools rack up nearly 11,000 hits.
"The entire program is student-run," says Anthony Kunkel, one of Lancer Live-Athletic Broadcasting's moderators.
Juniors Peter Paychev and Tom Winget are in charge of the school club. Paychev operates the cameras while Winget manages students working the computers. Together, these two lead a crew of 13 students, from freshmen to seniors, that work as a unit to show select sports on the Web. Lancer Live-Athletic Broadcasting plans to showcase winter sports such as basketball and soccer.
BitGravity was introduced to St. Francis through a former student of Tom Johantgen, another one of the club's moderators. BitGravity needed to test BG Live and wanted to showcase what the product could do. After collaborating, the school was able to acquire Wirecast for $500 this past year, when similar programs in the past have cost nearly twice as much. Wirecast allows the students to emulate a fully functioning news station. From MacBook Pro computers, they are able recreate television studios and stream multiple camera angles from high definition cameras.
Teachers show students how to use the latest versions of photo and video editing software. Students are applying what they have learned in the classroom to real life situations by helping to stream events on the Web for the first time.
This website feature is perfect for alumni, fans living out of town, or for rainy days. Dozens of viewers have called in to comment on the quality of the live stream. Parents and grandparents of athletes are ecstatic to see their children competing live on the web, according to Mr. Johantgen. The new club helps spread Lancer athletics to wider audiences, he said.
Within the next several years, Mr. Johantgen said he hopes to stream announcements live every morning via the Internet. Possibilities with Web-based broadcasting are almost endless — students can produce news shows or clubs can do special broadcasts for those unable to attend meetings.