Game Data Live Hardware

You can WiFi video to the sideline with Game Data Live for under $600 assuming you have two iPads. Pictured above are two iPads, IOGrapher cases for an iPad and for an iPhone 6 Plus, a router with a flash drive inserted, a directional access point with a power over ethernet injector and a power strip.


iPads / iPhones

Game Data Live requires iOS 8.0 or newer.

Game Data Live will run on any iPad 2 or newer.

Game Data Live for iPhone is intended for the iPhone 5 or iPhone 6 or iPhone 7.

Some iOS devices support WiFi using MIMO or 802.11 AC. Both provide faster video transfers. The full size iPads seem to WiFi faster than their equivalent minis.

Some iOS devices have cameras that Zoom and some have Focus Pixels for smoother autofocus. Cameras with more Megapixels provide sharper images and better zoom. The newer devices with 12 megapixel cameras work the best.

 
MIMO
802.11 AC
Megapixels
Zoom
Focus Pixels
iPad 2,3,4, Mini
?
iPad Air, Mini 2 & 3
X
5
X
iPad Air II, Mini 4
X
X
8
X
iPad Pro 9.7 inch
X
X
12
X
X
iPad Pro 12.9 inch
X
X
8
X
 
iPhone 5
8
X
iPhone 6, 6 Plus
X
8
X
X

iPhone 6s, 6s Plus

X
X
12
X
X
iPhone 7, 7 Plus
X
X
12
X
X

If you're purchasing a new iPad, get an iPad Pro 9.7 inch. Get as much storage as you want to pay for.

Use your best iPad / iPhone to shoot the video. Everyone else's experience depends on the shooter.

A high school in Utah replaced their iPad 2 with an iPad Air II and improved their ability to send video to the sideline in 2015. They're watching 720p HD video on the sideline at home and away with the WiFi hardware shown above. They get video clips to the sideline in 6 or 7 seconds.

At Saline High School in Saline Michigan, our most reliable device for shooting and transmitting video was an iPad Air II (fall of 2015). For 2016, we have upgraded our coaches iPads to Air IIs and see an obvious improvement in WiFi speed and reliability.

Our new iPad Pro 9.7 inch downloads video files from our FTP server 3 times faster than our iPad 4 (both using WiFi). Its camera can zoom to 2.9 times magnification without degrading a 720p video image. That 2.9 times zoom is enough to capture our wide view from the press box without adding a telephoto lens.


Networking Equipment

Routers

We use a dedicated wireless router at our stadium and at away games. The router helps send messages from iPad to iPad and provides the WiFi signal within the pressbox. During the 2015 season we used a LINKSYS EA6900. It was easily purchased at our local BestBuy.

Game Data Live Linksys EA6900

We use the 5 GHz band to avoid collisions with traffic on existing 2.4 GHz networks. We get better throughput at 5 GHz. These routers also support the 802.11 ac wireless standard and MIMO which provide better WiFi performance. You can remove an antenna to connect optional external antennas that can be directional and / or weatherproof.

A Kansas City KS coach shoots video with Game Data Live from the roof of his pressbox. He transmits the video to coaches in the press box. Initially, he tried using 2.4 GHz WiFi to share video and transferred 6 video clips by the end of the game. He switched to 5 GHz the next week and was able to transmit all the plays in the game. 5 GHz WiFi works better than 2.4 GHz !

For 2016, we purchased a LINKSYS EA9200 TriBand router from Amazon.com. It has two 5 GHz transceivers. You can use the two transceivers to provide less congested channels within the pressbox. We like to give the person shooting the video their own dedicated channel. You could also get two channels using the EA6900 and an access point. The EA9200 with two 5 GHz channels in one device is slightly faster and less expensive. Its also easier to transport and setup.

FTP Servers

Game Data Live can use a File Transfer Protocol server to:

    1. Accelerate video file transfers
    2. Transmit video files to multiple iPads
    3. Provide more robust recovery from network disconnects.
    4. Provide video files on the flash drive that you can upload to Hudl after the game.

Routers can provide access to a storage device connected to their USB port through use of the File Transfer Protocol. We have used a USB-3 flash drive from Lexar as the storage device to create an FTP server within our router.

We've tested a variety of USB flash drives. You can transfer a video file 1 second faster with a high performance USB-3 flash drive compared to a basic USB-3 flash drive. Although it takes some effort to setup, using your router as an FTP server for the cost of a flash drive provides huge advantages.

Lexar P20Lexar S73

You can also use a laptop as an FTP server. We have used Apple's OS X Server ($20) for this purpose. It is more complicated to configure, but can transfer video files a second faster than using a flash drive. You can easily upload the videos from the FTP server directories to Hudl after the game if you like.

Directional Antenna for Router

We have used an external antenna from TP-Link. Their TL-ANT5823B antenna supports 5 GHz networks and is very directional. We used it to provide a stronger WiFi signal from the press box to the sideline.

This antenna is used by one of our competitors. We have since discovered the TP-Link CPE510 directional access point which works much better for a similar price.

Access Points

Access Points are basically WiFi radios that you can attach to a router using an ethernet cable. You can use Access Points to provide a stronger WiFi signal to a remote iPad and to add WiFi channels to your network (fewer devices per channel). You can improve network speed and reliability with Access Points. Access Points are configured using a web page - similar to setting up a router. Access Points provide security and access control similar to a router.

TP-Link provides a directional access point that can be mounted outdoors.

Tests with a TP-Link CPE510 got video from our press box to the far sideline of our stadium nearly twice as fast as our Linksys EA6900 router with the TL-ANT5823B antenna attached.

This TP-Link access point costs about the same as the antenna and works much better.

The TP-Link CPE510 supports the 802.11 N networking protocol and MIMO.

The TP-Link CPE510 comes with a power over ethernet injector to provide its power over its ethernet cable. You can mount it remotely and not worry about availability of power at the remote location.

Mounting the CPE510 high on your pressbox gives it a clearer path to the sideline.

We have built several inexpensive mounts for the CPE510 using PVC pipe and cable ties. With this example, we can point the CPE510 right at the sideline.

We have transmitted 720p HD video (1280 x 720 resolution) to the sideline using the TP-Link CPE510 mounted high on our press box. We have also transmitted 720p HD video across the field to the far sideline at opponents' stadiums.

We have tested a NanoStation M5 (Access Point) from Ubiquiti Networks. Its very similar to the TP-Link CPE510 and has been used by a couple of our competitors. It can be faster than the TP-Link. Its web based user interface is frustrating to use. It may put out more power than the TP-Link CPE510.

Its instructions include an RF Exposure Warning that suggests you stay 2.52 meters away from it.

nano Station M

 

We have used a LINKSYS LAPAC-1750 wireless Access Point where its not raining. This access point can be used to add a high performance channel to your network. The LINKSYS LAPAC-1750 access point supports the latest wireless protocol - 802.11 ac (faster) and MIMO.

We also have a LINKSYS LAPAC-1200 access point that provides the same features as the 1750 with less bandwidth for less money. Frankly, the 1750 is more than you need.

LinkSys Access Point

Basic Configuration for 2016

Our simple sideline configuration for 2016 is shown below. It includes a router providing WiFi in the press box with a flash drive acting as an FTP server and a TP-Link CPE510 mounted high on the press box pointed at the sideline. You can construct inexpensive mounts for the CPE510 from PVC pipe.

Network Equipment 2016

Wired Networking

Wireless networking within the press box can be challenging. Interference comes from cell phones, laptop computers and other WiFi networks. Apple has provided a wired ethernet solution for iPads and iPhones so you can network at high speed without interference.

Lightning to USB3

USB to Ethernet

You can combine Apple's Lightning to USB 3 Camera adapter ($39) with their USB Ethernet adapter $(29) to get a RJ45 ethernet port for your iPhone or iPad. You will need to provide power to the USB 3 Camera adapter with an iPad power supply and its usual Lightning cable. This can provide a fast and reliable link from your camera (iPhone or iPad) to your Game Data Live Network. You could also use it for coaches iPads in the press box.

We have used this at Saline High School in 2016 for our camera iPad. Provides fast (less than 2 seconds) and reliable (no interference) video uploads to our FTP server.

Two Tier Network

The biggest challenge you face when implementing WiFi in your stadium is the interference you get from all the cell phones in the stands. If it is easy to do, you should run an ethernet wire from the press box down to the sideline and position an Access Point there. Its usually not easy to do.

You can also build a Two Tier Network to the sideline. We originally thought this technique was more trouble than it was worth. Then, our coaches came up with a TV to use on the sideline and they found a way to get power to it. We realized with the TV and available power, a Two Tier Network was not that difficult to implement.

Our Two Tier Network consists of TP-Link CPE510s providing the long distance tier of the network. The short distance tier (in the pressbox and on the sideline) is provided by traditional routers, access points, iPads and iPhones. The long distances are covered by strong directional devices pointed at each other providing a strong connection in both directions. The devices that transmit in every direction are used for short distances.

We still have our CPE510 on top of the press box configured as an Access Point.

Another CPE510 on the back of the TV is configured as a Client and connects to the press box Access Point. The long distance tier provides a strong connection to the sideline that is almost as good as using wire.

WiFi for TV

 

We attach a LINKSYS LAPAC-1200 Access Point to the Client on the TV to distribute the WiFi to iPads on the sideline.

You can make the long distance tier hidden. The Client CPE510 on the TV is not configured as an Access Point, so the cell phones in the stands do not attempt to connect to it. Once it is configured to connect to the press box Access Point, the press box Access Point can stop announcing its ID. The cell phones don't see the press box Access Point and don't try to connect to it. Video to the sideline is delivered almost as fast as video within the pressbox.

Saline High School used Game Data Live and the Two Tier appoach when they played at Ann Arbor Pioneer in Michigan (2016). Saline shot video from the visitors side of the field, transferred it reliably to the home side pressbox and back to coaches on the visitor's sideline. One iPad shooting video and transferring to 4 other iPads for viewing. The Two Tier network has worked very well for SHS.

One of Saline's competitors uses Hudl Sideline. They tell us it works well at home. Not so good when they used it at an away game at Ann Arbor Pioneer.

If you look at the hardware used by SkyCoach, this looks very similar for a lot less.

For 2017 Hudl and Echo seem to be offering this approach too and you can pay for it every year !

If you have questions about the Two Tier Network, give us a call (734-769-8587)

Camera in the End Zone

In 2016, we are shooting a second camera angle using an iPad in the end zone. It connects to our Private WiFI Backbone using another CPE510 set up as a client. The iPad is wired to the CPE510 with Apple's USB and Ethernet adapters. We're shooting wide from the press box and tight from the endzone. Video clips are viewed by the coaches in Wide and then Tight order.

The CPE510s are configured to use TP-Link's MaxStream proprietary protocol. The MaxStream protocol ensures that the CPE510 on the sideline and the one in the endzone share the bandwidth to the pressbox efficiently. Cell phones can not connect to these devices while they are running MaxStream, so it also helps eliminate cell phone interference. We're using MaxStream for the Two Tier Network and standard 802.11 ac in the press box and on the sideline.


Accessories

An IOGrapher iPad Case lets you add a 2 X telephoto lens to your iPad or iPhone and mount the whole thing on a tripod or monopod. Check them out at www.iographer.com.

IOGrapher and Game Data Live

A Quik Pod monopod can be used with the IOGrapher case to stabilize and support your iPad or iPhone. It has a quick release so you can separate iPad and Quick Pod in a couple seconds. Monopods can be purchased from IOGrapher, BestBuy and Amazon.

Game Data Live Monopod


Game Data Live - Sideline Video - Equipment Shopping List

iPhone or iPad to shoot video

iPad to display video

Game Data Live Software

  1. Apple's App Store - $99.98 for two licenses

Router Linksys EA-6900 (One 5 GHz transceiver)

  1. $179 Linksys
  2. $100 BHPhotoVideo
  3. $94 Amazon

Optional Router Linksys EA-9200 (Two 5 GHz transceivers)

  1. $299 Linksys
  2. $200 BHPhotoVideo
  3. $179 Amazon

Flash Drive (Lexar P20 - 64 GigaBytes) to implement FTP Server

  1. $30 Amazon
  2. $30 BHPhotoVideo

Directional Access Point (TP-Link CPE510)

  1. $70 Amazon
  2. $70 BHPhotoVideo

IOGrapher case and Telephoto Lens

  1. $100 IOGrapher

Ethernet cables

Shipping

You can implement sideline video with Game Data Live for well under $600 including an IOGrapher lens.

Build it Yourself - Robust network - No Annual Fees.

Add iPads in the press box ($49.99) - Game Data Live software - Apple's App Store

Optional Wired Ethernet for camera iPad / iPhone ($70) Apple Computer

Optional Linksys LAPAC-1200 Access Point for sideline distribution ($142) - BHPhotoVideo, Amazon

Upgrade to Two Tier Network to sideline ($210) for CPE510 and LAPAC-1200

Add Endzone CPE510 and Apple Wired Ethernet + a software license ($190)