|Sports Broadcasts - Audio and Video|
We don't claim to be a sports bar here at The Kraken but we have big sports love. We collectively compromise on the most significant game or race or event to show at any given time on our crispy flat screen tv. We also have a fancy projector with which we project the big sporting events onto the back of the stage. This simply mirrors the display that's on the tv behind the bar. Look out for movie nights and video game nights in addition to the regular big sporting and racing events.
We are dedicated to showing the big races, football games, and particularly the big college basketball games. We've got fans of teams from across the country, but tend to favor ACC teams from the Triangle area: Duke, State and mostly UNC.
We attempt to open up early for all the big sports events and announce those dates on our facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/KrakenBarChapelHill/ Once again, this mostly applies to college basketball, but we are always open to suggestions.
If you're as passionate about UNC Basketball as we are, you will appreciate the fact that we synchronize Jones Angel and Eric Montross of the Tar Heel Radio Network with Broadcast Television video.
As a public service, we'd like to describe how we manage to delay the radio broadcast to synch with television. We are not experts, but wish to share what we've learned since there are really not any decent resources addressing this concern online.
Our experience and advice synching Radio and TV broadcasts
If you're a technophile, hardware freak, musician or recording artist, you may have certain equipment that allows for delay, and you may have cords and adapters. We are closer to the average sports viewer and semi-proficient computer user.
We use a simple computer program called UNC SportsSync that was developed by UNC students. We have one adapter, and a couple cords connecting a handheld radio with our laptop and our stereo.
Here's the initial announcement regarding UNC SportsSync:
"Undergraduate Students Develop UNC SportSync
Have you ever wished you could listen to radio announcers instead of the television commentators while watching a game? Many fans agree that radio play-by-play announcers provide more interesting and knowledgeable commentary for both pro and college sports events. The problem that prevents many fans from doing this is that the radio commentary and the images from the TV do not match, because radio signals almost always run 10-to-30 seconds ahead of TV broadcasts (which must pass through cable, satellite, or HDTV systems).
Three UNC computer science students have solved this problem and created a free way to sync your television and radio commentary. Michael Barlock, Patrick Waivers and Kartik Sethuraman created UNC SportSync in a software engineering class. In the class, people present ideas for projects and the student groups choose which projects they want to help develop.
“I was naturally drawn to a project involving UNC basketball! I was very excited about creating an application that would benefit lots of people - Tar Heel radio enthusiasts in particular,” said Sethuraman, one of the students who developed the project.
“I enjoy listening to radio commentators more because they are more knowledgeable about our team,” Sethuraman said. “They cover every single UNC game all season, so naturally they know more about the team than a television commentator who only covers a couple of Tar Heel games a year would.”
Brian White, the information technology director of the computer science department, pitched the original idea for UNC Sportsync. He said that he has used it to listen to every basketball game this season and is very pleased with the final product.
Barlock, Waivers and Sethuraman created a free user-friendly program that could be downloaded through the internet. There are similar products you can buy online, but they cost $60 or more. So far, UNC Sportsync has been downloaded 700+ times."
How we sync audio and video
How do you sync audio and video? What does it take and how much does it cost? Hopefully this will help you. It cost us at most twenty or thirty dollars not including the computer/laptop.
Equipment needed: standalone radio with headphone output, computer/laptop with mic input and headphone output (if no microphone input, a handy little usb audio adapter found here at Amazon: http://amzn.to/1StysQl), audio cord from radio to computer, optional audio cord to stereo or speakers from computer
Visit http://code.google.com/p/sportsync/downloads/list and download the appropriate version of UNC SportsSync for your operating system. Install on your computer.
Connect your radio device to your computer microphone input or usb adapter. We basically use a modern Radio Shack version of the classic Walkman for our radio source. If you use an adapter to connect the radio to your computer, you may need to go to your control panel to make it a default input device.
Step 3: (optional)
You can listen via your computer speakers or you can output to other speaker options with an appropriate cord. In our situation, we run a male 1/8" cord from the usb adapter headphone output that connects to male RCA red/white cords that we plugged into the back of our stereo receiver - that allows us to broadcast throughout the bar.
When you have connected your audio input and optional chosen audio output, launch the SportsSync program. You may experience an error if you don't have a proper audio input (microphone input or USB adapter) connected.
Visit http://code.google.com/p/sportsync/ for a preview of SportsSync's basic interface. If you click on the wrench icon, you will see your input/output devices listed. Click save/cancel and you will return to SportSync's main window where you can easily set your audio delay.
How to set your audio delay precisely... it can be a bit tricky, but the best ways to properly sync is to listen to foul whistles, or when the ball hits the hoop. Radio announcers are always describing the action right after it happens, so physical/audio clues help you line up your audio and video.
We first used UNC SportsSync during the 2014-2015 Basketball season, and we had a notebook computer with a microphone input and a headphone output. It was straight up easy. That notebook died, and our current laptop only has a headphone output, so we had to get the usb adapter for the 2015-2016 season.
There's some fuzz in the final audio output with our usb adapter, but it suffices for the bar. We find that between our three sets of speakers, there's also a very slight delay to the speakers that are furthest away, so if the volume is turned up you may experience a bit of echo. The former fuzz issue may be significant in a home setup, and the latter delay will likely not be relevant to most folks running on a single set of speakers.