High School Football has made Instant Replay on the sideline for coaching purposes completely legal across almost the entire nation and in almost any game format. This gives the coaches a view of the play that just occurred mere seconds after it's over. For those lucky enough to have a system capable of producing this outcome, their team will have a substantial advantage over the competition without replay. Therefore, more and more programs are looking into this exciting new technology. But like with any technology, you need to consider which product is going to be worth your purchase and why. We've summarized the five major questions you should be asking before buying a sideline instant replay system and provided the answers below. Take a look and decide what will be best for your team!
Is Your Hardware Made for Replay?
Obviously the major task that a replay system is up against is capturing the video from either your Endzone Camera or All-22 Sideline camera in the Press Box booth, or both, and then delivering this footage to the coaches' tablets on the sideline. This means the device that handles this task is incredibly important. It needs to be able to handle encoding high definition video and transferring it wirelessly to be received by iPads. Some products like the Hudl Sideline use a third-party streaming device and task it to handle this process. However, if the hardware wasn't made for this job, then other roundabout processes are required.
The Hudl Sideline streams the footage to a master iPad and then forces the iPad to do the encoding, and then it must send the data back so that their device can distribute the replays to everyone else. That's a lot of extra work and a complicated process that really demands a lot out of your hardware that wasn't made for replay and your wireless network. On the other hand, the EDGE Replay has a recording device that was made from the ground up for replay. It does the encoding and sends the data straight out to your iPads over a powerful network. It's replay made simple and made right.
Will Your Network be Powerful Enough?
Not only will your hardware affect your usability and your replay download speed, but so will your wireless network. Having a strong connection in the stadium is crucial. A system like the Hudl Sideline creates access points so that iPads can connect depending on where they are, but it's not a true 3-point network that puts the hotspot both in the booth and on the sideline. The EDGE Replay, on the other hand, uses the latest in antenna technology to give a strong connection in these important locations so that WiFi connection is not a concern.
Is The System Easy to Set Up?
Because replay technology for sports like football is necessarily advanced, it can get complicated. That's why the system needs to be made as simple and easy as possible for set up and use. Some products give you the parts you need and instruction, but if not easily organized it can get confusing quick. EDGE Replay pre-installs all of your equipment in protective hard cases with simple instructions labeled everywhere. This makes the system as "plug-and-play" as any replay system could possibly be. Everything that can remain connnected is already set and ready to go when it arrives to you. EDGE tasks you with the minimal amount of actions in order to have your system set up and ready to go in no time.
Can You Tag the Game and Use Stats as an Advantage?
Replay features give fantastic statistical advantages to football teams. For one, your Replay System should have a live tagging feature that allows you to tag the game as it’s happening. This can substantially reduce the coaches’ workload of tagging every individual play after the game. It’s best if the tagging can be associated with each play clip so that way you know the play was correctly tagged at down and distance and ODK.
Another great feature of a Replay System is the ability to provide game stats of your opponent’s tendencies based on what's been tagged so far during the game. EDGE Replay is one of the only systems that gives you these advanced features, which provide an advantage few other sideline replay system can give.
What's the Long Term Cost?
It's important to note that all legitimate replay systems require an annual fee in order to be used year after year. This is because software updates and support is very necessary for a technology like this. For that reason, you can't just consider up-front cost and make your purchase off of that. Long term cost needs to be a factoring decision. The Hudl Sideline, for example, attracts many with a relatively low up-front cost for a 2-angle system of $1,500. However, their annual fee for this system is also $1,500 per year. That means after 5 years your total cost for the system is $7,500. Contrast that with EDGE Replay, whose up-front cost may be higher at $2,499 for the same number of angles, but the annual fee is only $499, meaning your total cost after 5 years is only $4,495. That's a huge difference for a product that answers the above questions much better than the Hudl Sideline does. To see a full comparison between all major replay systems CLICK HERE.
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Posted on March 15, 2019