Virtual Advertising Platform

A Supponor-owned end-to-end platform, offering a multitude of powerful features

Overview

The Supponor Advertising Platform

Our services are delivered on a highly scalable and modular platform that combines a rich set of features and capabilities with the flexibility to individually scale camera inputs, production integrations and unlimited modified virtual outputs.

Because the core platform components are all decoupled and not delivered in a box-based product, services can be scaled and customized to the specific needs of the client.

Technology capabilities

The platform provides the following capabilities:

The Supponor platform includes a web based management system that allows customers to create and manage virtual events from anywhere. This system provides a very flexible tool to create events, upload related artwork such as images and videos, map the artwork to zones on the virtual spaces to be placed or replaced, create the timings/playlist for when each asset is to be rendered in-game and includes a visualization feature that lets you see how the resulting artwork and layout will look on screen.

Once the events have been created the platform takes care of the rest, securely distributing the material to the devices that will produce the virtual output. The event data can also be used to automatically populate the Analytics & Reporting system to provide greater insight into past and planned matches.

A web-based application that provides rich analytics on past and planned events, along with a sophisticated reporting system that provides data, images and video highlights of virtual events with agency/broadcaster- and brand/advertiser-based feature sets and access controls. In addition to centralizing all required information in one location, this system can save a great deal of time and effort that would typically go into creating and managing post-game reports and visuals.

The analytics and reporting system pulls in data from a variety of sources in the platform such as the Event & Content Management system and from the live renderers that produce the virtual feeds to combine both as planned and as run data to provide a highly accurate data set that can then be explored and shared.

A crucial feature of any virtual advertising system is the ability to accurately mark an area that is to be placed/replaced, key it if it is likely to be occluded by moving objects and track it in real-time as the camera moves around. The performance and reliability of a virtual advertising systems keying and tracking is critical to its utility and commercial value.

There are a handful of different technologies available to provide keying – chroma/luma based approaches, non-visible light (such as near infra-red) based approaches and emerging AI approaches. Each has strengths and weaknesses depending on the environmental conditions that surround the match (indoors, outdoors, surface types, colours and so on) and their cost/complexity to deploy in professional sports productions. One of the major differentiators of the Supponor platform is that it offers all three approaches – individually and in co-operation with each other. This allows to accommodate the broadest range of sporting environments using the most appropriate techniques and however the masking is achieved they share our core industry leading tracking system.

One of the key differences between the Supponor platform and more traditional graphics-based systems is the ability to operate outside of the main production chain, downstream from the production mixer. This is made possible by Supponor’s integrator component, which can support multiple concurrent production environments (e.g. when multiple broadcasters cover the same event) and is also independently scaled from other parts of the live video chain. It can be deployed at the venue or in a remote facility.

Integrator automatically verifies whether each video frame presented in the production mix is from a camera to be virtualized and uses our AI system to automatically detect and separate production graphics, greatly simplifying the integration requirements of each production/broadcaster.

Supponor’s renderers produce highly realistic modified feeds with the appropriate virtual advertising inserted. These can output a range of technical formats, from linear SDI to streaming OTT. Any number of output feeds can be produced by scaling out the number of renderers. They can also be deployed at the venue or, more typically, in a remote facility or distribution centre. The renderer supports UHD 4K, HDR and the BT.2020 colour space (in addition to HD). Renderer includes both manual and automatic bypass modes in the event of issues and because the entire Supponor live video chain operates in parallel to the main production, bypass can also be invoked at anytime by the production itself – unlike alternative solutions that operate inside the production and so are harder to isolate if things go wrong.

Get in touch