Northwestern University Drives Sports Replay Action with ZEPLAY from Tightrope Media Systems

Transition to ZEPLAY from competing system increases reply reliability, accelerates operator training for overall improved game day experience

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, September 21, 2015 — The Broadcast Operations department at the Northwestern University Department of Athletics and Recreation never misses a critical play during live sports events, thanks to the rapid and reliable instant replay of ZEPLAY from Tightrope Media Systems. With a new low price for all budgets, ZEPLAY provides a professional, reliable and feature-rich slo-mo instant replay server that is easy to use for live sports production.


The Broadcast Operations department is responsible for the creation of high-definition (HD) highlights and other important video messaging during game days, which are subsequently displayed on large video boards within two campus sports venues. The university had been using a mobile production truck with a competing replay system on board prior to purchasing ZEPLAY. The transition to ZEPLAY has both increased game day reliability and accelerated system training thanks to a quick learning curve.

"We use professionals for big games, but student operators trained on ZEPLAY are up and running in about an hour," said Rob Coons, senior director of broadcast operations, Northwestern University Athletics. "ZEPLAY is also the most robust and reliable replay system we have used. We had performance issues with our previous system, which caused many headaches. We are confident we have what we need for highlights every game, as well as repurposed content to present on our website."

ZEPLAY is installed in the university's new HD control room, which is networked to the video boards at Ryan Field (football) and Welsh-Ryan Arena (basketball, volleyball and wrestling). When an event is happening at either venue, ZEPLAY instantly captures and sends signals to the appropriate location via a simple switching feature. With eight feeds to choose from (four in, four out), independent control of every output channel and a built-in multiviewer to monitor all angles, operators use ZEPLAY for all decisive video plays to engage fans, and to quickly add highlights to the department website.

"We can cut highlights for the big screen and store them within ZEPLAY for later use on the web, or during our coach's show," Coons said, adding that his department has been in discussions about acquiring a second ZEPLAY system. "We really put the ZEPLAY through its paces and are never disappointed. It's really streamlined our entire workflow for the better."

About Tightrope Media Systems
Founded in 1997, Tightrope Media Systems is the pioneer of web-centric digital signage and broadcast automation systems. It provides station automation, video servers, internet video on demand, live streaming, the Carousel Digital Signage system, and ZEPLAY, a multi-channel instant replay machine for stadiums, arenas and Outside Broadcast vehicles. Tightrope's award winning systems are used throughout the world. You can reach Tightrope Media Systems at (866) 866-4118 or visit them on the web at http://www.trms.com.

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