Dealing with large video files is always resource heavy – slowing up digital systems and particularly broadband connections. We use super fast cable broadband from Virgin Media to upload all our video files, but with 13-15GB video files for each game it can still take 2-3 hours to upload and transcode online.
As you can imagine, any glitch in connection can mean going back to the beginning to start the upload again – as happened with the Argyle Exeter match in February 2017. This is frustrating for viewers as it is for publishers. We are sorry for such delays, but those are out of our hands.
Other delays do come down to human error and sit squarely with us – such as a missed piece of digital jiggery pokery on a file. Each game is not just thrown up on the site from the live mix. We are not allowed to publish until a certain time after the match, due to Football League rules and licensing agreements. That does mean we have time to work on the footage and try and correct errors, mistakes etc. Also at Home Park we are gradually upgrading, all live replays around the ground currently are using older technology and are in Standard Definition, hence far poorer quality. In the post-production editing we replace these SD files with the original HD files – this along with colorisation and titling all take significant time to complete.
Plus, we had another issue with the Argyle v Exeter video file, for some unknown reason the HD file was only playing in SD online! It was uploaded as a HD file, but has decided to do something strange! We use Vimeo as a video platform and we got their technicians to examine what has happened to this particular file!
Technology is rarely straight forward – in general everything runs swimmingly, but occasionally there will be a ghost in the machine!