Scope / History

The local Badminton club 1. BC Wipperfeld had high ambitions over the last years that really payed off. The main goal was to reach the highest German league and stay there. This is not only a matter of hard training, playing good Badminton and winning matches, but also a matter of money and technical support. 1. BC Wipperfeld is now in the third year in the “1. Bundesliga” and supposed to stay there.

The days of having a lot of helping hands around only to change the scoreboards are gone, we now rely on tablets, projectors and LC-displays to show the current score and player names. Live-Scores are published and a video live-stream is also provided.

Currently the complete stack consists of:

  • 4x Raspberry Pi 3
  • 2x NEC S402 40" displays including floorstand
  • 1x Panasonic projector
  • 3x Lenovo 10" Android tablets
  • 3x Apple iPhone 5 for video-streams
  • some Netgear WiFi Access-Point
  • Laptop & Printer for player, umpire and match-management

The venue / gymnasium is equipped with a ADSL-connection of 50MBitS/10MBitS. The Netgear AP provides a private “match-WiFi” for the named equipment.

CourtSpot & bup

In terms of software we rely on CourtSpot and bup which come bundled.

CourtSpot

CourtSpot is a closed-source PHP-application for managing league match days, custom match days or tourneys developed by Ulf Reiter as a side-project. The application is running on dedicated Raspberry Pi and is only accessible from the “match-WiFi”. All further named components connect to this WiFi and connect against the server-side part of CourtSpot.

bup

bup is a beautiful web-frontend for umpires and game-managers.

Projection

A Raspberry Pi is the video-source for the Panasonic PT-FZ570 WUXGA projector. The Raspberry is configured to start with a browser in Kiosk-mode, showing one of the Courtspot overview pages.

screenshot of projection content
screenshot of projection content
This example shows a ended match day with no active games. Instead of the commercials there’d be player names (on the correct position), scores and service-indicators on top.

Displays

The 40" LC-displays (Full-HD) are located at the outer edges of playing fields, facing to the viewers. Each of these displays is powered by a Raspberry Pi, the configuration nearly the same as for the projection, only a different URL is configured. We chose to decrease the resolution to 1280x720 pixels due to some signal noise.

These displays show the type of the current match, current scores and indicates the player with service on double matches. Team colours are used to highlight the team names.

screenshot of scoreboard single match
bup scoreboard single match
screenshot of scoreboard double match
bup scoreboard double match

Tablets

Umpires use the 10"-tablets to keep track of the game progress. Please take a look at the very fine demos of bup.

bup is self explaining and supports the umpires in every aspect, e.g. in the reading of greetings and general match-starting procedure.

Every change on scores is sent to CourtSpot, screens and live-ticker update in time.

screenshot of the umpire view on a tablet, showing a double match
bup umpire view double match

We decided to have rather plain Android-tablets with an up-to-date browser, there’s no installation of any app needed.

Live-Streaming

Live-streaming is very interesting. Usually there are some regulations from the German Badminton Association that prevent us from directly streaming via Facebook or YouTube. Doing some streaming via a dedicated streaming service provider turned out to be very costly, at least for our limited budget and an unknown acceptance rate.

Nonetheless we found two solutions for our use case: doing it completely on our own and Sportdeutschland TV.

Custom streaming solutions

After some testing of mobile-apps and (free) streaming servers we found a solution that is working fine:

We use Larix Broadcaster to create a stream of 720*1280 pixels (portrait-mode) that we send to a small Nginx-instance on GCP. The homepage of 1. BC Wipperfeld will show links to the player-frontends.

We provide two separate streams in portrait-mode that can run on any modern browser, tablet or smartphone.

Current latency: 10 seconds

Sportdeutschland TV

Another interesting solution for live-streaming is the offer of Sportdeutschland TV.

Sportdeutschland TV is a service provided by DOSB New Media GmbH (Deutscher Olympischer Sport Bund) supported and sponsored by ProSiebenSat.1 Digital GmbH and the Gothaer insurance. This sponsoring allows you to get a complete streaming-setup for your sport-event for free.

If your application for a streaming-kit was successful, they’d ship a set with this content:

  • HD-Camera (with HD-SDI output) & tripod & 10-15m HD-SDI cable
  • Blackmagic Design HD-SDI capture-box to USB-C
  • HP Omen “Laptop” with a licence of LiveStream Studio
  • LTE-Router (incl. free Telekom Day-Pass)
  • Headset with microphone

The setup is working really nice and the software allows you to

  • do audio-comment of your event
  • add videos & loop
  • add audio
  • add dynamic website-content like scoreboard
  • do a local recording
  • mix and cut everything

Pros & cons

The setup is great, but you need some knowledge to setup everything correctly. Although there’s a free shipment (and collect) to your address, the equipment is all in one big box and this box is heavy.

Sportdeutschland TV doesn’t really want you to give the whole set for every match-day for free and the setup is not very spontaneous.

As an alternative you can just send and RTMP-stream to them and use the platform. But since they somehow have to configure some stuff, provide some credentials and so on, they need some weeks in advance.

Average Latency: > 30 seconds

Maintenance

Before each match-day the mobile devices (tablets & iPhones) are charged and updated.

The Raspberry Pi will get some apt update && apt upgrade and a functional test after reboot. All Raspberries are configured with some few Ansible-roles.

Questions? Need Contact?

You want to do a similar solution on your Badminton-matches? Feel free to contact me.